Reno man pleads guilty to helping with plans for terror attack in India
RENO, Nev. (KRNV/KRXI) - A Reno man has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge after authorities alleged he had provided support in 2013 to plans for a terror attack in India, according to federal prosecutors.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that Balwinder Singh, 42, also known as Jhaji, Happy, Possi, and Baljit Singh, had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists.
He previously pleaded not guilty back in 2014 when charged with conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping.
Federal authorities said Singh, who has been detained since 2013, provided aid for proposed attacks in India as part of a movement that seeks to create an independent Sikh state in the nation's Punjab region.
He spoke with co-conspirators over the phone to discuss plans for an attack, and he agreed to help with one co-conspirator's travel to and within South Asia, and funding for an attack overseas, according to prosecutors. They ultimately decided to have someone travel to India to commit a terror attack, which would likely involve the assassination of or an attack upon an Indian government official.
Singh, a citizen of India and permanent U.S. resident, bought two sets of night-vision goggles and gave them to a co-conspirator in December 2013. That individual attempted to board a flight from San Francisco to Bangkok, but law enforcement stopped him.
Singh was later arrested on Dec. 17, 2013. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, according to prosecutors.
“This is a strong indicator of the law enforcement community’s commitment to combating terrorism and keeping our nation safe,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse said in a statement.