Maryland man admits to stalking, trying to frame wife as terrorist

WASHINGTON — A Hanover, Maryland restaurant owner faces up to five years in prison after he was arrested for stalking and plotting to frame his estranged wife as a terrorist.

Khalil Ahmad, 51, who owns Allah Rakha Restaurant, pleaded guilty Wednesday to stalking his estranged wife, according to a release from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ahmad was initially arrested for a range of charges, including violating several protective orders; trying to frame his wife as a terrorist; and asking someone to burn down his restaurant for insurance money. In exchange for pleading guilty to the federal stalking charge, three other jurisdictions have agreed to dismiss the charges against him.

In the charging documents, prosecutors said that the couple had been married since 2015. During their marriage, Ahmad had threatened to kill the victim with a gun.

In April of 2018, the victim told Ahmad she wanted a divorce.

Not long after, Ahmad confronted his wife. He dumped gasoline on himself and threatened to burn himself to death unless she took him back.

After the incident, she obtained a protective order from Howard County, keeping Ahmad from having contact with the victim.

Ahmad violated the orders several times, following her in her car and calling her phone. He also threatened to have her brother living in Pakistan killed, and threatened to kill her if she returned to Pakistan.

Ahmad also called her friends and family, accusing her of having a relationship with another man.

In May, Ahmad asked a person identified as CW to harass the his wife and expressed interest in having her killed, court records said.

He later decided to have her framed as a terrorist. Ahmad and CW plotted to get a ballistic vest, gun, liquor, and extremist jihad writings in her possession without her knowledge. When all the items were in place, they planned to report her to the police.

The plan was foiled when CW eventually reported Ahmad to the police, who then began to record communications and activities between the two.

Several discussions about the plot were recorded by police. CW also received $7,000 from Ahmad and provided personal information about his wife. They also discussed how to set the restaurant on fire to make it look like an accident.

In June, police told Ahmad his wife had been arrested and that they had some questions about her.

Ahmad told police he overheard his wife taking terrorism classes over the phone, and said she had attended a terrorist training camp.

Ahmad was interviewed again later by investigators with an Urdu-speaking translator present. They read him his rights, and eventually showed him a video where he discussed committing crimes with CW.

Ahmad said he wanted CW to make his wife’s life difficult and try to seduce her. But he said the plot to kill his wife and other crimes were CW’s idea.

Ahmad is scheduled to be sentenced for his crimes on March 12, 2019, in front of U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett. He could face deportation after he serves his prison sentence.

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