More often known as the Portland Six or Oregon Six
Oregon-based terrorist cell which sympathized with the Taliban and al Qaeda
Tried but failed to join terrorist forces in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11
The Portland Seven, more often known as the Portland Six or the Oregon Six, refers to a would-be al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist group, all of whose members at some time met while living in Portland, Oregon. The group called itself Katibat Al-Mawt, "Squad of Death."
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, said then-Attorney General Ashcroft in October 2002, the group "acquired various firearms and engaged in weapons training and physical training in preparation to fight a jihad." Group members left the country, Ashcroft explained, and attempted to enter Afghanistan, where their aim was to join al Qaeda and the Taliban in "fighting against the United States and our allied soldiers."
The male members of this would-be terrorist cell traveled to China, then attempted but failed to enter Afghanistan from there. Some tried other entry routes. All returned to the U.S. by year's end. As of 2002, the members included:
Maher Mofeid Hawash, 37, a Jordanian-born Palestinian who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1990 and worked as a software engineer at Intel;
Habis Abdulla al Saoub, 37, a Jordanian who was a Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. and also called himself "Abu Tarek";
Patrice Lumumba Ford, 31, an American-born black Muslim resident of Oregon, son of a former Black Panther activist;
Jeffrey Leon Battle, 32, who also called himself "Ahmad Ali" and "Abu Isa." A former U.S. Army reservist, Battle boasted that he and cohorts had studied the layouts of local Portland Jewish schools and synagogues and planned how they could gun down those inside.
Sometimes called the seventh member of the Portland Six (thus making it the "Portland Seven"), Battle's former wife October Martinique Lewis, age 25 in 2002, conspired to help the group by sending money to them under false names in other countries to finance what she knew to be their illegal activities.
Six (all but Maher Mofeid Hawash) were indicted in October 2003 and charged with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban, and possession of firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence. Hawash was originally detained as a material witness and was later charged.
Six (all but Habis Abdulla al Saoub) eventually reached plea bargains with Federal authorities and were sentenced to serve prison terms of various lengths. Saoub was never apprehended. He reportedly did finally make it into Afghanistan with the help of his newlywed Pakistani wife, but according to U.S. authorities, he was killed in Pakistan in October 2003.
An "unindicted co-conspirator" who was seen shooting guns with Portland Seven group members was Kahled Ali Steitiye. He was arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2002, convicted of felony firearms possession and fraud, and sentenced to 30 months in prison.
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