Former Indian national arrested in Reno on terrorism-related charges

Dec. 19, 2013 at 1:26 AM   |   0 comments

RENO, Nev., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. authorities arrested a former Indian national in Nevada on charges of providing material support to terrorism groups in India and Pakistan.

Balwinder Singh, 39, of Reno, was accused of trying to intimidate the government of India and to harm persons not supporting the terrorism groups or their causes, John Carlin, assistant U.S. attorney general for national security, said.

The arrest was made in cooperation with the U.S. attorney's office in Nevada and the FBI in Nevada, the U.S. Department of Justice said on its web site.

The DOJ said charges against Singh included conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, making a false statement on an immigration document, using an immigration document procured by fraud, and unlawful production of an identification document. His arraignment was set for Friday before a U.S. magistrate judge.

The DOJ said Singh had been a citizen of India before he fled to the United States seeking asylum and later obtained a permanent U.S. resident card. The indictment said he is a member of two terrorist groups, the Babbar Khalsa International and Khalistan Zindabad Force, both of which seek to set up an independent Khalistan state in India for followers of the Sikh religion.

"These groups engage in bombings, kidnappings and murders in India to intimidate and compel the Indian government to create the state of Khalistan," the indictment said.

Singh was accused of traveling from the United States to Pakistan, India, and other countries, to meet with coconspirators to assist in the planning of terrorism in India.

If convicted, Singh could face up to life in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count, the DOJ said.

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