An Algerian man was sentenced today to 15 years’ imprisonment for conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists.
Ali Charaf Damache, 53, also known as Theblackflag, 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. He was extradited from Spain in 2017 and pleaded guilty in July 2018.
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 those with whom Damache conspired is Jamie Paulin Ramirez, a resident of Colorado, and Colleen R. LaRose, aka Fatima LaRose, aka Jihad Jane, a resident of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Though there were several involved in the conspiracy, Damache was the driving force behind the terrorist cell that he formed. He enticed LaRose and Ramirez to travel to Ireland to live with him and train in the ways of violent jihad; convinced Khalid, LaRose and others to recruit men online to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe; and began to coordinate explosives training for his co-conspirators. He also trained Ramirez’s young son in the ways of violent jihad.
“Today’s sentencing marks the end of a long and arduous prosecution that has spanned more than nine years, involved four defendants and five unnamed co-conspirators, and required multiple coordinated international arrests and two extradition applications,” said U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain. “Damache and his co-conspirators were motivated by hate and prejudice, and their criminal activities presented a very real danger to our country and the world. This case is a prime example of the remarkable results we can accomplish when law enforcement – both foreign and domestic – work together to stop our enemies who intend to wage war on our way of life. As this case shows, our resolve to dismantle extremists groups is stronger than ever.”