UT student pleads guilty in conspiring to aid terrorists


UT student Rahatul Khan, left, and Michael Wolfe, right, have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in a United States Attorney's Office for the Western Distrcit of Texas press release. Photo courtesy of Williamson County Sheriff's office and the Austin Police Department. 

UT student Rahatul Khan pled guilty in conspiring and attempting to provide terrorists material support on Wednesday.

At a plea hearing, Khan admitted he had worked with a co-conspirator from March 2011 and January 2012, and provided a recommendation to a person who was interested in participating in jihad – a holy war seen as a religious duty in some factions of Islam.

Khan was arrested last month in his home in Round Rock and later charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. On the same day, Michael Todd Wolfe, who is from Austin but is not a UT student was arrested in Houston and handed the same charge. Wolfe pled guilty on Friday, admitting he planned to travel to Syria and learn to fight with an al-Qaida group.

Khan and Wolfe, who are both 23, were apprehended after an investigation by the Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“Rahatul Khan’s admissions during this morning’s guilty plea should serve as a sobering reminder that we need to remain vigilant in our efforts to detect and root out terrorism, even in our own back yard,” United States Attorney Robert Pitman said in a statement.

Khan could face up to 15 years in federal prison at his sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set yet.