An American man who wanted to become an executioner for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and fight against India has admitted before a federal judge that he was guilty of providing support to the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation, according to officials.
John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced that Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion, who called himself “Jihadistsoldgier” made the admission on Wednesday before Judge Ronnie Abrams at the federal court in Manhattan.
“As he admitted today, Jesus Encarnacion plotted to travel abroad to join and train with the terrorist organization Lashkar e-Tayyiba, infamous worldwide for their brutal jihadist murder of innocent civilians, and to carry out shootings, bombings, and beheadings on their behalf,” New York federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman said.
Berman and Demers noted that the LeT is a “Pakistan-based designated foreign terrorist organization responsible for multiple high-profile attacks, including the infamous Mumbai attacks in November 2008.”
In transcripts of interactions between Encarnacion, an LeT recruiter Michael Kyle Sewell and federal agents that are in court documents IANS has seen, Encarnacion said: “You guys are against India… you are beefing with India over Muslim land a I hate (expletive) Hindus… They can go to hell. I am going to help you.”
Encarnacion, 30, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at New York’s JFK Airport in February when he tried to take a flight to Europe on his way to Pakistan to join the LeT.
Admitting guilt in a court, which is formally known as pleading guilty, leads to a conviction and is usually resorted to when the accused faces overwhelming evidence and in return can expect some leniency from prosecutors.
At his sentencing scheduled for April, Encarnacion faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for the crime of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.
According to a court document, Encarnacion has described himself as a Dominican. But it was not apparent if he was an immigrant from the Caribbean nation of Dominican Republic or had been born in the US. The document mentioned that he is a new convert to Islam.
Sewell, who was 18 when he was arrested in February, has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to LeT and was sentenced in September to 20 years by a federal judge in Texas.
Sewell was not identified by name in the Encarnacion case but referred to only as a co-conspirator.
However, by comparing the court documents in the two cases IANS found similarities in the tracking up by undercover agents and made the connection.
A chilling portrait of Encarnacion emerges from the transcripts of interactions between him, Sewell and undercover federal agents.
He said: “I want to fight. I want to execute. I want to behead,” and pleaded, “Please. I want to kill on video. Terrify our enemies.”
In a transcript Encarnacion said: “Kuffar treat me bad”, but does not further identify the “Kuffar” or what they did.
He initially wanted to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation, but Sewell directed him to the LeT, presciently predicting the doom of IS.
“There is no point in fighting for them. They have no territory,” Sewell told him suggesting he join the LeT that has Pakistan’s backing.
Encarnacion said: “I hate this country… I can’t wait to go to Pakistan.”