FBI PRESS RELEASE
Portland Field Office
FBI | 1500 SW First Ave., Suite 400 | Portland, OR 97201 | www.fbi.gov
For Immediate Release
Date: October 4, 2002
Contact: Beth Anne Steele
FBI’S Joint Terrorism Task Force Arrests Four on Terrorism Charges
Two Others Who Were Indicted Are Now Fugitives
United States Attorney General John Ashcroft announced today that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and members of Joint Terrorism Task Forces have arrested four people on charges of aiding and, in some cases, trying to join Al-Qaida fighters. Joining Mr. Ashcroft were FBI Director Robert S. Mueller and United States Attorney for the District of Oregon Michael Mosman. FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Mathews III, joined by members of the JTTF, made the announcement in Portland, Oregon.
On Thursday, October 3, 2002, a federal grand jury in Portland, Oregon, indicted JEFFREY LEON BATTLE aka Ahmad Ali and Abu Isa, PATRICE LUMUMBA FORD aka Lumumba, AHMED IBRAHIM BILAL, MUHAMMAD IBRAHIM BILAL, HABIS ABDULLA AL SAOUB aka Abu Tarek, and OCTOBER MARTINIQUE LEWIS aka Khadijah. An indictment is a formal method of bringing charges, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. All six people face the following charges:
Simultaneously, the Detroit FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested MUHAMMAD BILAL, age 22, in Dearborn, Michigan. All arrests were without incident. AHMED BILAL, age 24, and AL SAOUB, age 36, are fugitives, and efforts are underway to locate them.
The indictment alleges that all six members of this group conspired with each other to levy war against the U.S. It was part of the conspiracy that members would travel to Afghanistan to join Al-Qaida and Taliban forces in the jihad and to take up arms against U.S. and allied military forces.
The indictment alleges that in or about the summer of 2001, FORD, M. BILAL, and A. BILAL engaged in physical training to prepare to fight a jihad. It says that in late September 2001, BATTLE, FORD, A. BILAL, M. BILAL, and AL SAOUB along with unindicted co-conspirator KHALED ALI STEITIYE and others, conducted firearms training at a location in Washougal, Washington. The weapons used included a 12 gauge Remington shotgun, a Chinese SKS assault rifle, and semiautomatic pistols.
The indictment also alleges that BATTLE enlisted in the United States Army Reserve to receive training in U.S. military tactics and weapons. He was administratively discharged from the military in January 2002. The indictment goes on to allege that on October 17, 2001, BATTLE and AL SAOUB departed the Portland International Airport enroute to Afghanistan. It says that on October 20, 2001, FORD, M. BILAL and A. BILAL departed the Portland International Airport enroute to Afghanistan.
The indictment alleges that between October 2001 and January 2002, LEWIS wired a series of money orders to BATTLE in China and Bangladesh, knowing that the money was going to be used to support BATTLE’S attempt to enter Afghanistan to fight for Al-Qaida. In November 2001 and January 2002, FORD wired money to Al SAOUB in China.
Three of the five men who left the country have returned. FORD returned to the U.S. on or about November 19, 2001. M. BILAL returned to the U.S. on or about December 24, 2001. BATTLE returned to the U.S. on or about February 5, 2002.
With the exception of AL SAOUB, all those indicted are American citizens born in the United States. AL SAOUB is a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. who was born in Jordan.
If convicted, the defendants could face the following sentences:
Assistant United States Attorneys Charles F. Gorder, Jr., Pam Holsinger, and David Atkinson are prosecuting this case.
The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force includes members from: Portland Police Bureau; Beaverton Police Department; Oregon State Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Immigration and Naturalization Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the U.S. Postal Service; the U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the U.S. Customs Service.