A 53-year-old Muslim man who was born in Algeria, became a citizen of Ireland and now resides in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to recruiting Muslims in the United States and Europe to engage in violent jihad in Europe.
The State Department announced Monday that Ali Charaf Damache, aka Theblackflag,
admitted to conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists.
He was indicted in 2011 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.
U.S. authorities extradited Damache from Spain in July 2017.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30 before U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker.
Authorities said he will be removed from the United States and returned either to Ireland or Algeria.
Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, which spotlighted the guilty plea, commented that, based on past cases, “once in Ireland, or Algeria, he will almost certainly resume his jihad.”
The indictment said Damache, his co-defendant Mohammad Hassan Khalid and others “conspired to support, recruit, and coordinate a terrorist cell, consisting of men and women from Europe and the United States, to wage violent jihad in and around Europe.”
Among the conspirators is Colleen R. LaRose, a Pennsylvania resident at the time of the acts alleged in the indictment. Aka JihadJane, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Damache, Khalid, LaRose and others recruited men via the internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe and recruited women who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad, according to the indictment.
As part of his guilty plea, Damache has agreed to be sentenced to a 180-month term of imprisonment and has waived his right to appeal his sentence.
Upon completing his prison sentence, he will be removed from the United States.