Algerian-born Ali Charaf Damache and Pakistani citizen Mohammad Hassan Khalid were charged Thursday in Pennsylvania with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
Known by an Internet username "Theblackflag," Damache also is charged with "one count of attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism," a news release from the Department of Justice said. Damache has been in Irish custody since March 2010, but officials pledged to seek his extradition to face trial.
Khalid, a Pakistani citizen with a green card living in Maryland, has been in custody since July and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Using the Internet to communicate, recruit and solicit funds, the pair is accused of conspiring with "Jihad Jane," also known as Colleen R. LaRose, and Jamie Paulin Ramirez to develop what the indictment described as "a violent jihad organization … divided into a planning team, a research team, an action team, a recruitment team, and a finance team, some of whom would travel to South Asia for explosives training and return to Europe to wage violent jihad."
LaRose pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to support terrorists, and to kill people in a foreign country, lying to investigators and attempted identity theft. Notorious for her exploitation of the Internet, LaRose faces up to life in prison when sentenced.
Similarly, Ramirez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide support to terrorists in 2011.
The indictment details correspondence among the group, including efforts to recruit people to wage jihad or European women with passports who could travel in support of the effort.
For example, in August 2009, Khalid allegedly sent a questionnaire to LaRose, "in which he asked another potential female recruit about her beliefs and intentions with regard to violent jihad," the indictment alleged.