In what could wind up being a very tricky case, the US Attorney’s Office for Northern Ohio has announced four men with links of Columbus, Ohio are being charged with providing material aid for terrorism for fundraising back in 2008 for US cleric Anwar Awlaki.
US officials have accused Awlaki of being a “terrorist mastermind” primarily on the basis of sermons critical of US foreign policy, and he was assassinated by US drones in late 2011. He was only formally added to the list of foreign terrorists by the administration in 2010, when they also added him to their “kill list.”
That means that the four men facing fundraising charges were doing so over a year before he was designated as a terrorist, and are trying them for actions during a period when the US focus on Awlaki was almost exclusively on getting his religious sermons censored for being “anti-American.”
Two of the four men were arrested, one in Columbus and one in Texas. The other two men are not in the United States, and there has been no indication either is going to be arrested soon.