Maryland ex-teacher gets 15 years for supporting terrorism

28 August 2006: Ali Asad Chandia, a former third-grade teacher at a Muslim school, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for providing support to a terrorist organization.

Chandia, 29, who taught at the al-Huda school in College Park, Maryland, was arrested in September, 2005, one of 11 Muslim men convicted in what prosecutors called a “Virginia jihad network” and was convicted in June on charges that he provided material support to the foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a group fighting for control over the Kashmir region on the India-Pakistan border.

The network involved a group of men who played paintball in the Virginia woods in 2000 and 2001 as a means of training for global holy war. At his sentencing hearing, Chandia maintained his innocence and said he would exact revenge against prosecutors in the afterlife.

Chandia was convicted of assisting Mohammed Ajmal KHAN, one of the top military leaders of the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, by acquiring military equipment, sheltering him when he visited the United States and serving as his driver. Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated as a terrorist group in 2001.