Another Oregon Muslim pleads guilty in terror case

PORTLAND, Ore. – A woman accused with six other Portland-area residents of conspiring to help al-Qaida and the Taliban fight U.S. forces in Afghanistan pleaded guilty Friday to money laundering.

October Lewis will serve three years in federal prison and agreed to testify against her former husband and another man. Three other men have pleaded guilty. The final defendant is a fugitive.

Lewis and three of the suspects were arrested last Oct. 4, a day Attorney General John Ashcroft called “a defining day” in the war on terrorism.

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Prosecutors say the group of Portland-area Muslims plotted to join the Taliban in fall 2001 to fight a holy war against the U.S. armed forces then fighting in Afghanistan.

The group traveled to western China in an attempt to enter Afghanistan but were stalled by border officials and visa troubles, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said Lewis’ role in the conspiracy was to wire a total of $2,130 to her ex-husband, Jeffrey Leon Battle, while he traveled overseas, knowing the money would be used to support his effort to join the Taliban or al-Qaida.

Battle and another man, Patrice Lumumba Ford, are scheduled to go to trial in January.

The government has offered a $5 million award for the arrest of Habis al Saoub, the seventh defendant in the case.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Associated Press, USA
Sep. 26, 2003

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