Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a Maryland man with conspiracy to provide information to terrorists. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said Thursday afternoon that Mahmud Faruq Brent, also known as Mahmud Al Mutazzim, is in federal custody in New York. He was arrested Thursday in Newark, N.J.
Brent, of Baltimore, faces charges of conspiring to provide resources to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) — which has been linked to bombings in India — from 2001 through the current year.
Federal authorities, along with the Baltimore Joint Terrorism Task Force, searched Brent’s northwest Baltimore residence following the arrest.
Federal documents accuse Brent of attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and associating with a suspect linked to al-Qaeda, who was charged in May in another terror case.
Sources said Thursday’s arrest is not, in any way, linked to the terror investigations currently under way in London, Miller reported.
Prosecutors said Brent attended a LET-run terrorist training camp in Pakistan where, prosecutors allege, Brent trained in martial arts with Tarik Shah, who was indicted in New York on similar charges.
According to prosecutors, Shah allegedly had in his possession an address book containing contact information. Authorities said they found among the contacts phone numbers for “Mahmud Almutazzim” and “Sayfullah.”
Federal authorities also searched another address linked to Brent in Prince George’s County.
Brent lived at that residence for some time. He had worked as a paramedic for a firm in Silver Spring as recently as last November.
Prosecutors connected the second phone number, listed to “Sayfullah,” to an address known to have been used by a person named Seifullah Chapman. He was recently convicted in eastern Virginia on multiple terrorism and gun charges in connection to the Virginia Jihad Network prosecutions.
Prosecutors said Shah allegedly revealed during a recorded FBI telephone conversation the identities of several of his martial arts students whom he trained in Afghanistan and Yemen. They said the identities included Mahmud Al Mutazzim, Brent’s surname.
In that recorded phone call, prosecutors said, Shah allegedly told the undercover FBI agent that he intended to enlist Al Mutazzim to prepare a demonstration video to train jihad students in martial arts.
Upon his arrest on May 28, prosecutors said, Shah provided more information about his relationship with Al Mutazzim. He said he trained Al Mutazzim in martial arts when they both lived in Beacon, N.Y., in 2001.
Authorities said Shah told them that during that time, he introduced Al Mutazzim to Chapman. Shah later agreed to meet Brent in June at a Columbia-area hotel, during which time, Brent allegedly discussed with Shah hardships in communicating with the training camps and his alleged desires to return.
Miller reported court documents indicated that Brent was tape-recorded in June, talking about his trip to Pakistan, saying:
“(Brent) had agreed to provide whatever assistance he could over there and expressed his hope that Allah would bless him for his efforts.”
Collins reported Brent was tape-recorded as saying that going to the training camps was “one of the best decisions of my life.” Prosecutors said Brent allegedly explained difficulty he encountered while trying to travel to the training camps.
Federal prosecutors said Brent was scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate Thursday afternoon in New York.