A 37-year-old man who had previously been charged with providing support to Al-Qaeda was handed a three-count indictment in Toledo, Ohio on Wednesday for soliciting the murder of the federal judge presiding over his case.
Yahya Farooq Mohammad was charged with attempted first-degree murder of a federal officer, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and use of interstate commerce facilities in commission of murder for hire, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. He was accused of soliciting someone to kidnap and murder U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary after he told an inmate at a county jail in April that he was willing to pay $15,000 to carry out the act, the Toledo Blade reports.
Farooq Mohammad was in jail for a case in which he was indicted last year, involving charges for conspiring with three men to travel to Yemen in 2009 to give thousands of dollars in support of jihad against U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. That case still remains pending in the U.S. District Court of Northern Ohio.
“According to the charges in the indictment, this defendant not only attempted to have a federal judge murdered, but he did so to obstruct justice in a terrorism case against him,” U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a statement Wednesday. “This prosecution seeks to hold the defendant accountable for attempting to victimize the judge and for trying to undermine our criminal justice system.”