A Canadian engineering graduate from Waterloo, Ont., pleaded guilty in New York Tuesday to being part of a terrorist procurement cell securing sophisticated military technology for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), including submarine and warship design software, and laundering money, National Post reported.
Suresh Sriskandarajah, 32, known by the nickname Waterloo Suresh, used students as couriers to smuggle prohibited items into Sri Lanka.
Between September, 2004, and April, 2006, he and several co-conspirators helped a Tiger procurement officer research and acquire aviation equipment, submarine and warship design software, night vision equipment and communications technology, prosecutors said.
On Tuesday Sriskandarajah admitted he provided support to LTTE knowing it was designated as a terrorist group, saying he met his co-accuseds while visiting Sri Lanka.
Sriskandarajah could face up to 15 years in prison and will be deported to Canada at the completion of his sentence.
“The defendant helped the LTTE, an organization that pioneered terrorist tactics and has killed numerous civilians in brutal terrorist attacks, obtain sophisticated military technology and equipment,” said United States Attorney Loretta Lynch after the plea.
“Claiming to fight for freedom, the LTTE instead created a climate of fear and bloodshed, systematically assassinating those who stood in the way of their terrorist goals.”
Sriskandarajah was one of six Toronto-area men arrested in 2006, accused in a joint FBI-RCMP probe of providing weapons and equipment to LTTE. (The LTTE was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1997 and by Canada in 2006.)
Sriskandarajah was extradited to New York in December after a six-year legal battle in Canada that went to the Supreme Court.
Another Canadian, Piratheepan Nadarajah, 36, still faces terrorism charges in the U.S. for his alleged role in a related plot to buy $1-million worth of AK47 assault rifles and surface-to-air missiles for the Tamil Tigers.