“Alleged International Terrorist Arraigned Today in Brooklyn Federal Court Following Extradition from Nigeria”

October 1, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 27, 2013 released the following:

As a Member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nigerian Man Allegedly Received Weapons Training, Recruited Operatives, and Helped Publish ‘Inspire’ Magazine

Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, a Nigerian citizen charged with providing material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and using firearms in furtherance of that crime, was arraigned today before United States District Judge John Gleeson at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. At this initial appearance in court in the United States after his extradition from Nigeria, Babafemi was ordered held without bail.

The charges and arraignment were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division; and George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant was a member of a violent terrorist organization bent on doing harm to the United States and its allies. The defendant threw his efforts behind al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s media, recruitment, and weapons training campaigns in an effort to strengthen the terrorist group’s grip on the region and extend its reach throughout the world. We will use every tool at our disposal to combat al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in a manner consistent with our laws,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch also expressed her grateful appreciation to the government of Nigeria for its assistance and cooperation in this extradition.

“As alleged, the defendant trained with al Qaeda, assisted in its propaganda efforts, and actively recruited others to join its demented cause. We will continue to work with our international partners to mitigate the global terrorist threat,” stated FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos.

According to court documents and the record of today’s proceeding, between approximately January 2010 and August 2011, the defendant traveled twice from Nigeria to Yemen to meet and train with leaders of AQAP, the Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda. Babafemi assisted in AQAP’s English-language media operations, which include the publication of the magazine Inspire. At the direction of the now-deceased senior AQAP commander Anwar al-Aulaqi, Babafemi was provided by AQAP leadership with the equivalent of almost $9,000 in cash to recruit other English-speakers from Nigeria to join that group. While in Yemen, Babafemi also received weapons training from AQAP.

On February 21, 2013, a grand jury in the Eastern District of New York returned a sealed indictment charging the defendant with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to AQAP, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B; one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to AQAP, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B; one count of unlawful use of machineguns, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c); and one count of conspiracy to unlawfully use machineguns, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(o). At the request of the United States, the Nigerian government thereafter commenced extradition proceedings against the defendant in July 2013, and he was ordered extradited in September 2013.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If convicted, the defendant faces up to 15 years in prison on each of the material support charges and up to life on each of the firearms charges.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Zainab Ahmad and Hilary Jager, with assistance from Trial Attorney William M. Narus of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

Defendant:

Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi
Age: 33″

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


F.B.I. Arrests Second Suspect in Bomb Plot Against Bank

October 19, 2012

The New York Times on October 18, 2012 released the following:

“By MOSI SECRET

The Bangladeshi man who was arrested Wednesday on charges that he plotted to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York had an accomplice in San Diego, who was arrested later on unrelated child-pornography charges, a law enforcement official said on Thursday.

The man described as the accomplice, Howard Willie Carter II, was arrested after an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation found 1,000 images and three video files containing child pornography on a laptop and hard drive in the trash near Mr. Carter’s apartment, according to a government document. Officials used material stored on the computer to trace it back to Mr. Carter.

The computer also contained e-mails addressed to “Yaqeen,” a name that Brooklyn prosecutors said Mr. Carter had used in the plot to bomb the Federal Reserve building.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged the Bangladeshi man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and with providing material support to Al Qaeda. They said he had tried to detonate what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb hidden in a van parked near the Federal Reserve building, on Liberty Street, in the financial district.

Mr. Nafis had been under surveillance for months as part of an elaborate sting operation. An undercover officer gave him fake bomb material that could not have exploded. Mr. Nafis met several times with the undercover officer to plan the attack, and mentioned that he was collaborating with Yaqeen, who was identified in the complaint as a co-conspirator.

In July, the complaint against Mr. Nafis said, he told the undercover agent that Yaqeen had told him about a military base in Baltimore, with only one guard standing outside, that they could attack.

Mr. Carter had been placed under surveillance in San Diego as early as August, according to court documents in the pornography case. A federal agent there found the computer involved in that case on Aug. 16, but officials waited until after Mr. Nafis’s arrest to arrest Mr. Carter. Mr. Nafis arrived in the United States in January on a student visa. Prosecutors said he later tried to recruit people to form a terrorist cell and contacted a confidential informer who introduced him to the undercover agent.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Nafis and the agent parked a van filled with what Mr. Nafis was led to believe was a bomb in front of the Federal Reserve building, according to the complaint against him. They went to a nearby hotel, where Mr. Nafis tried to detonate it by dialing a number on his cellphone, the complaint said. Then he was arrested.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Prosecutors say other targets eyed before New York City subway terror plot

April 16, 2012

Fox News on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“NEW YORK – A man accused of becoming an Al Qaeda operative discussed bombing New York City movie theaters, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and the New York Stock Exchange before settling on the city’s subways, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

Adis Madunjanin considered the high-profile targets with two of his former high school classmates from Queens, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Looman said in opening statements.

The men “were prepared to kill themselves and everyone else around them — men, women and children,” Looman said.

Defense attorney Robert Gottlieb accused the government of using “inflammatory rhetoric” about Al Qaeda and terrorism to prevent jurors “from seeing the truth about this case.”

“The truth is that Adis Medunjanin is not a terrorist,” he said.

There’s no dispute that Medunjanin and his two former classmates packed up and traveled together to Pakistan in 2008. But federal prosecutors say the three were homegrown Muslim extremists who, under Al Qaeda’s tutelage, came back to the United States and hatched a foiled plot to attack the New York City subways as suicide bombers.

Medunjanin, 27, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, providing material support to a terrorist organization and other charges in what U.S. officials have described as one of the most chilling terror conspiracies since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Childhood friends Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay have admitted in guilty pleas that they wanted to avenge U.S. aggression in the Arab world by becoming martyrs.

In his first public account, Ahmedzay testified Monday that Medunjanin encouraged him to follow a more radical form of Islam.

“I became very radical in my views,” he said.

While sitting in a car outside a Queens mosque, the three men “made a covenant to go to Afghanistan and fight with the mujahideen against American forces.”

Another possible witness is Bryant Neal Vinas, a Long Island man who joined Al Qaeda around the same time as the other men. Officials have credited Vinas with providing key intelligence about the terror group since his capture in 2008.

Jurors also are expected to hear evidence that following his arrest, Medunjanin told the FBI he had become a more devout Muslim about four years before the plot was exposed after he and Zazi began spending time together at a local mosque, FBI reports say. He also recalled being influenced by tapes of U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, they say.

In 2008, Medunjanin and his friends decided to join the Taliban and fight U.S. soldiers in retaliation for the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, the FBI reports say. The three instead were recruited by Al Qaeda operatives, who gave them weapons training in their Pakistan camp and asked them to become suicide bombers, they say.

Medunjanin told his Al Qaeda handlers “he had prayed but still wasn’t sure if he was ready to be a martyr,” the reports say. He later was sent home on his own, the reports add, after he told them “the best thing for him to do … was to return to the U.S. and provide financial support” for the terror network.

Zazi, after relocating to the Denver area, got as far as cooking up explosives and setting out by car for New York City in September 2009 to carry out the attack. He was arrested after abandoning the plan and fleeing back to Colorado.

The FBI reports say Medunjanin denied knowing what Zazi was up to. And the defense has claimed he spoke to the FBI under duress.

In a sworn statement, the defendant accused agents of making veiled threats against his family and denying him access to his attorney for 36 hours. Federal authorities insist his statements were voluntary.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said Monday that it had struck a rare deal with a convicted terrorist to provide evidence for Medunjanin’s trial. Saajid Badat, who was jailed in Britain in 2005 for his role in a 2001 plot to down an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden inside shoes, had his jail term cut from 13 years to 11 years under the agreement. Badat was an accomplice of so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid, who is serving a life sentence in the United States.

Prosecutors could not confirm whether Badat will appear in person to testify, provide written evidence or appear from his British jail via a video link.

Prosecutors in Britain said details of the deal were not disclosed at the time it was struck; a judge ordered the information to remain confidential until the U.S. case began.

It meant that Badat was released on parole — having served part of his reduced 11 year sentence — in 2010, before the detail of his arrangement with prosecutors was made public Monday.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Adis Medunjanin’s Federal Criminal Trial in Federal Court in Brooklyn is Set to Begin

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“NYC Man Faces Terror Trial

By TOM HAYS

There’s no dispute that Adis Medunjanin and two of his former high school classmates from Queens packed up and traveled together to Pakistan in 2008.

But federal prosecutors say the three were homegrown Muslim extremists who, under al-Qaida’s tutelage, came back to the United States and hatched a foiled plot to attack the New York City subways as suicide bombers. Lawyers for Medunjanin claim he never was a threat.

A jury is set to hear both sides Monday in opening statements at Medunjanin’s trial in federal court in Brooklyn.

Medunjanin, 27, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, providing material support to a terrorist organization and other charges in what U.S. officials have described as one of the most chilling terror conspiracies since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Childhood friends Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay have admitted in guilty pleas that they wanted to avenge U.S. aggression in the Arab world by becoming martyrs. Both could be called by the government to testify against Medunjanin.

Another possible witness is Bryant Neal Vinas, a Long Island man who joined al-Qaida around the same time as the other men. Officials have credited Vinas with providing key intelligence about the terror group since his capture in 2008.

Jurors also are expected to hear evidence that following his arrest, Medunjanin told the FBI he had become a more devout Muslim about four years before the plot was exposed after he and Zazi began spending time together at a local mosque, FBI reports say. He also recalled being influenced by tapes of U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, they say.

In 2008, Medunjanin and his friends decided to join the Taliban and fight U.S. soldiers in retaliation for the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, the FBI reports say. The three instead were recruited by al-Qaida operatives, who gave them weapons training in their Pakistan camp and asked them to become suicide bombers, they say.

Medunjanin told his al-Qaida handlers “he had prayed but still wasn’t sure if he was ready to be a martyr,” the reports say. He later was sent home on his own, the reports add, after he told them “the best thing for him to do … was to return to the U.S. and provide financial support” for the terror network.

Zazi, after relocating to the Denver area, got as far as cooking up explosives and setting out by car for New York City in September 2009 to carry out the attack. He was arrested after abandoning the plan and fleeing back to Colorado.

The FBI reports say Medunjanin denied knowing what Zazi was up to. And the defense has claimed he spoke to the FBI under duress.

In a sworn statement, the defendant accused agents of making veiled threats against his family and denying him access to his attorney for 36 hours. Federal authorities insist his statements were voluntary.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Tahawwur Hussain Rana Found Guilty Following a Federal Criminal Trial in Chicago Federal District Court

June 9, 2011

Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 9, 2011 released the following press release:

Tahawwur Rana Guilty of Providing Material Support to Terror Group and Playing Supporting Role in Denmark Terror Conspiracy

CHICAGO — A Pakistani native who operated a Chicago-based immigration business was convicted today of participating in a conspiracy involving a terrorism plot against a Danish newspaper and providing material support to a terrorist organization based in Pakistan. The defendant, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, was found guilty by a federal jury that deliberated two days following a trial that began May 16, 2011, in U.S. District Court. The jury acquitted Rana of conspiracy to provide material support to the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans.

Rana, 50, a Canadian citizen, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to provide material support to the terrorism plot in Denmark and one count of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, Lashkar e Tayyiba (Lashkar.) He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the two counts combined and remains in federal custody without bond. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber ordered the defense to file post-trial motions by Aug. 15. 2011. No sentencing date was set.

“Today’s verdict demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable not only terrorist operatives, but also those who facilitate their activities. As established at trial, Tahawwur Rana provided valuable cover and support to David Headley, knowing that Headley and others were plotting terror attacks overseas,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “We will not rest in our efforts to identify and bring to justice those who provide support to terrorists.”

“The message should be clear to all those who help terrorists — we will bring to justice all those who seek to facilitate violence,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

“The effort to combat terrorism and bring justice to the victims is a global effort, requiring the cooperation and collaboration of many countries and many people. We are grateful for our role and that of the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force in bringing some measure of justice,” said Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI.

Rana is the second defendant to be convicted among a total of eight co-defendants who have been indicted in this case since late 2009. Co-defendant David Coleman Headley, 50, pleaded guilty in March 2010 to all 12 counts against him, including aiding and abetting the murders of the six American victims. Headley, who is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, has cooperated with the government since he was arrested in October 2009, and testified as a government witness at Rana’s trial.

The six remaining defendants are all believed to be in Pakistan.

Headley testified that he attended training camps in Pakistan operated by Lashkar, a designated foreign terrorist organization, on five separate occasions between 2002 and 2005. In late 2005, Headley received instructions from members of Lashkar to travel to India to conduct surveillance, which he did five times leading up to the Mumbai attacks three years later that killed more than 160 people and wounded hundreds more.

In the early summer of 2006, Headley and two Lashkar members discussed opening an immigration office in Mumbai as a cover for his surveillance activities. Headley testified that he traveled to Chicago and advised Rana, his long-time friend since the time they attended high school together in Pakistan, of his assignment to scout potential targets in India. Headley obtained approval from Rana, who owned First World Immigration Services in Chicago and elsewhere, to open a First World office in Mumbai as cover for his activities. Rana directed an individual associated with First World to prepare documents supporting Headley’s cover story of opening a First World office in Mumbai, and advised Headley how to obtain a visa for travel to India, according to Headley’s testimony, as well as emails and other documents that corroborated his account.

Starting Nov. 26, 2008, and continuing through Nov. 28, 2008, 10 attackers trained by Lashkar carried out multiple assaults with firearms, grenades and improvised explosive devices against multiple targets in Mumbai, including the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, the Leopold Café, the Chabad House and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station, each of which Headley had scouted in advance. The six Americans killed during the three-day siege were Ben Zion Chroman, Gavriel Holtzberg, Sandeep Jeswani, Alan Scherr, his daughter Naomi Scherr and Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum.

Regarding the Denmark terror plot, Headley admitted that in early November 2008, he met with a Lashkar member in Karachi, Pakistan, and was instructed to conduct surveillance of the Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, offices of the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten in preparation for an attack in retaliation for the newspaper’s publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

In late 2008 and early 2009, after reviewing with Rana how he had performed surveillance of the targets attacked in Mumbai, Headley testified that he advised Rana of the planned attack on the Danish newspaper and his intended travel to Denmark to conduct surveillance of its facilities. Headley obtained Rana’s approval and assistance to identify himself as a representative of First World and gain access to the newspaper’s offices by falsely expressing interest in placing advertising for First World in the newspaper. Before departing Chicago, Headley and Rana caused business cards to be made that identified Headley as a representative of the Immigration Law Center, the business name of First World, according to the evidence at trial.

The government’s evidence also included transcripts of recorded conversations, including those in September 2009, when Headley and Rana spoke about reports that co-defendant Ilyas Kashmiri, an alleged Pakistani terrorist leader, had been killed in a drone attack and the implications of his possible death for the plan to attack the newspaper. In other conversations, Rana told Headley that the attackers involved in the Mumbai attacks should receive Pakistan’s highest posthumous military honors. In the late summer of 2009, Rana and Headley agreed that funds that had been provided to Rana could be used to fund Headley’s work in Denmark, and the trial evidence showed that Rana, pretended to be Headley in sending an email to the Danish newspaper.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Collins, Victoria J. Peters and Sarah Streicker, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are working jointly with their counterparts in Chicago on the broader investigation into the Mumbai attacks. The investigation has been conducted by the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by the Chicago Office of the FBI, with assistance from the FBI offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as well as both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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