July 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Justice said an Emirati-Indian man pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to fund al-Qaida and of attempting to kill the judge presiding over his case.
Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, was indicted in 2015 on charges of conspiring with three others to travel to Yemen to provide thousands of dollars to Anwar Al-Awlaki, accused al-Qaida senior member and recruiter.
In July 2016, a grand jury in Toledo, Ohio, returned a three-count indictment against Mohammad for soliciting someone to kidnap and murder U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary of the Northern District of Ohio -- the judge assigned to Mohammad's al-Qaida-linked case.
Mohammad, who was an engineering student at Ohio State University from 2002-04, on Monday pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support or resources to terrorists and one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Mohammad is expected to be sentenced to about 27 years in federal prison.
"This defendant conspired to attack our service members abroad as well as a judge in Toledo," Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja for the Northern District of Ohio said in a statement. "He threatened the hallmarks of our democracy. He is a dangerous criminal who deserves a long prison sentence."
Mohammad -- a United Arab Emirates-born citizen of India -- will be deported after the completion of his sentence.
The case over the attempted killing of the judge started when Mohammad told an inmate he wanted to pay $15,000 for Zouhary to be kidnapped and killed. That inmate introduced Mohammad to an undercover FBI agent.
"Protecting the federal judiciary is our highest priority," U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott for Ohio said. "This is an example where we were able to work with our law enforcement partners to protect a judge and bring charges against a dangerous individual."