Indian-American pleads not guilty to terrorism charges

TerrorismFBI alleged the object of conspiracy was to advance the goals of BKI and KZF by supporting acts of terrorism. (Reuters)

An Indian-American Sikh man arrested in the US on charges of providing material support to Sikh separatist groups planning terrorist attacks in India has pleaded not guilty in a Nevada court.

Appearing before the court in Reno, Balwinder Singh, aka Jhajj, aka, Happy, aka Possi, aka Baljit Singh, said that all the charges against him are wrong. He claimed that his real name is Baljit and not Balwinder Singh as reported by the US Attorney's office.

Singh, 39, was arrested on December 17 has been accused of having links with two terrorist organisations, Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF).

The indictment charges him with one count of conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country, one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, one count of making a false statement on an immigration document, two counts of use of an immigration document procured by fraud, and one count of unlawful production of an identification document.

Singh, a citizen of India who fled to the US and claimed asylum, is now a permanent US resident.

In the indictment, the FBI alleged that the object of the conspiracy was to advance the goals of BKI and KZF by raising money and obtaining weapons to support acts of terrorism in India.

His preliminary trial date was set for February 11. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

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