A man suspected of plotting to kill a judge in the United States is not an Emirati, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has said.
The suspect, 37-year-old Yahya Farooq Mohammed, was indicted on three counts last week.
While US and international media reports claimed that he was a UAE citizen, Gargash clarified that the man is an Indian who lived in the Emirates between 2004 and 2008.
In a message on Twitter, the minister said: “On reviewing our embassy in Washington … it said the information about an Emirati accused of plotting to kill a judge in America is incorrect. He is an Asian national and lived for a time in the country.”
According to the indictment by a federal grand jury in Ohio on July 6, Mohammed, who was already in jail, attempted the kidnapping and murder of federal Judge Jack Zouhary.
The suspect, who was awaiting trial on charges of conspiring to aid Al Qaeda preacher Anwar al Awlaki and an Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, reportedly told another inmate that he was willing to pay $15,000 to have Zouhary kidnapped and killed.
Zouhary was the presiding judge in his case.
Mohammad allegedly told the inmate – who was an undercover agent – that his wife would hand over $1,000 in cash down payment. The rest of the amount would be sent from Dubai, he reportedly said.
“Conspiring to have a judge killed is not the way to avoid being prosecuted – now Mohammad will be held accountable for additional serious federal charges,” special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Cleveland Stephen Anthony said in a written statement.
Mohammad, who was charged with attempted first-degree murder of a federal officer, faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail if convicted at trial.