Home New York Press Releases 2012 Three Alleged International Terrorists Extradited from Great Britain

Three Alleged International Terrorists Extradited from Great Britain
“Abu Hamza” to Face Terrorism Charges for 1998 Kidnapping in Yemen, Supporting the Establishment of a Terrorist Training Camp in the United States, and Facilitating Violent Jihad in Afghanistan

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 06, 2012
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600
  • FBI Public Information Office (212) 384-2100

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Mary Galligan, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (NYPD), today announced the extradition of three defendants charged with terrorism offenses in two separate cases. Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, a/k/a “Abu Hamza,” a/k/a “Abu Hamza al Masri,” (“Abu Hamza”), 54, a naturalized citizen of the United Kingdom, is charged in connection with a hostage-taking in Yemen in 1998 that resulted in four deaths; a conspiracy to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, in 1999; and supporting violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001.

Separately, Adel Abdel Bary, 52, a citizen of Egypt, and Khaled al Fawwaz, 50, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, are charged with conspiring with members of al Qaeda to kill United States nationals and to attack U.S. interests abroad. Bary is also charged with murder, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, and other offenses in connection with the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which caused the deaths of 224 individuals and injured thousands more.

Abu Hamza, Fawwaz, and Bary were extradited from the U.K. and arrived in the Southern District of New York last night. Abu Hamza will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas. He will be arraigned Tuesday morning, October 9, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest, at which time Judge Forrest will also hold an initial pre-trial conference. Fawwaz and Bary will be presented and arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas. Their case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, and an initial pre-trial conference before Judge Kaplan is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As is charged, these are men who were at the nerve centers of al Qaeda’s acts of terror, and they caused blood to be shed, lives to be lost, and families to be shattered. After years of protracted legal battles, the extradition of these three alleged terrorists to the U.S. is a watershed moment in our nation’s efforts to eradicate terrorism, and it makes good on a promise to the American people to use every available diplomatic, legal, and administrative tool to pursue and prosecute charged terrorists no matter how long it takes. Now, Abu Hamza, Adel Abdel Bary, and Khaled al Fawwaz will finally face justice.”

FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mary Galligan said, “The extraditions of Abu Hamza, Bary, and Fawwaz are a major milestone in our effort to see these alleged high-level terrorists face American justice. The indictments allege the direct participation of these defendants in planning and carrying out some of the most odious acts of al Qaeda terrorism. When an indictment alleges the murderous intent of international terrorists, the government will not waver in its determination to achieve justice, no matter how long it takes.”

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, “The individuals accused of terrorism-related charges in this case were brought to justice as a result of great work by NYPD officers and FBI agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, in partnership with the outstanding team of prosecutors assembled by U.S. Attorney Bharara.”

Charges Against Abu Hamza
As alleged in the indictment against Abu Hamza:

December 1998 Hostage-Taking in Yemen

On December 28, 1998, in Yemen, hostage-takers stormed a caravan of sport utility vehicles carrying 16 tourists, including two United States citizens, and took the tourists hostage by force. Prior to the hostage-taking, Abu Hamza provided a co-conspirator in the hostage-taking (“CC-1”) with a satellite telephone. Abu Hamza subsequently spoke with CC-1 on that satellite telephone, agreed to act as an intermediary on behalf of the hostage-takers, and advised CC-1 with respect to the hostage-taking. On December 29, 1998, the Yemeni military launched a rescue operation. The hostage-takers fought the Yemeni military, using the hostages as human shields. During the rescue operation, four of the hostages were killed and several others were wounded.

Efforts to Create a Terrorist Training Camp in Bly, Oregon

In late 1999, Abu Hamza and several co-conspirators, including Oussama Abdullah Kassir, Haroon Rashid Aswat, and others, attempted to create a terrorist training camp to support al Qaeda on property located in Bly, Oregon. The primary purpose of the Bly, Oregon, camp was to provide various types of terrorist training, including weapons training. In late November 1999, at Abu Hamza’s direction, Kassir, and Aswat traveled from London, England, to Bly to assist in setting up the camp.

On May 12, 2009, after a four-week jury trial in this District, Kassir was convicted of various criminal offenses, including conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda and conspiracy to kill persons overseas, as a result of Kassir’s participation in the efforts to establish the Bly terrorist training camp. On September 15, 2009, United States District Judge John F. Keenan sentenced Kassir to multiple terms of life in prison. The conviction was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Aswat was arrested in Zambia in July 2005 and then deported to England, where he was arrested at the request of the United States, pursuant to a warrant issued in this district. The extradition proceedings against Aswat are currently pending in the European Court of Human Rights.

Facilitating Violent Jihad in Afghanistan

In November 2000, Abu Hamza requested that a co-conspirator (“CC-2”) escort another co-conspirator in London (“CC-3”) to a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. Abu Hamza introduced CC-2 to another co-conspirator (“CC-4”) in order to facilitate safe passage and transportation to Afghanistan, including via safehouses and other lodging in Pakistan. Thereafter, CC-2 and CC-3 traveled from London to Pakistan. CC-2 and CC-3 then separately entered Afghanistan. In March or April 2001, Abu Hamza conveyed instructions for CC-3 to contact a commander of the terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, who was expecting CC-3. Additionally, from the spring of 2000 through late 2001, Abu Hamza provided goods and services to the Taliban by, among other things, urging his followers to donate money, goods, and services to Taliban-sponsored programs in Afghanistan.

The indictment charges Abu Hamza with 11 offenses that carry the following potential penalties:

Count

Charge

Statutory Violation

Maximum Prison Term

One

Conspiracy to take hostages

18 U.S.C. § 1203

Life

Two

Hostage-taking

18 U.S.C. §§ 1203, 2

Life

Three

Conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists

18 U.S.C. § 371

Five years

Four

Providing material support to terrorists

18 U.S.C. §§ 2339A, 2

10 years

Five

Conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda)

18 U.S.C. §2339B

10 years

Six

Providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda)

18 U.S.C. §§ 2339B, 2

10 years

Seven

Conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists

18 U.S.C. § 2339A

15 years

Eight

Providing material support to terrorists

18 U.S.C. §§ 2339A, 2

15 years

Nine

Conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda)

18 U.S.C. § 2339B

15 years

Ten

Providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda)

18 U.S.C. §§ 2339B, 2

15 years

Eleven

Conspiracy to provide goods and services to the Taliban

18 U.S.C. § 371

Five years

 

Charges Against Fawwaz and Bary

As alleged in the indictment against Fawwaz and Bary:

In 1994, Fawwaz established a media information office in London, England, to publicize the statements of Usama bin Laden and to provide a cover for activity in support of al Qaeda’s “military” activities, including the recruitment of military trainees, the disbursement of funds, and the procurement of necessary equipment and services. The London office served as a conduit for messages, including reports relating to military and security matters from various al Qaeda cells, to al Qaeda’s headquarters. In August or September 1996, Fawwaz forwarded a copy of Bin Laden’s “Declaration of Jihad Against Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula” to another person in England for further dissemination to the media for publication. Thereafter, Fawwaz vouched for the Declaration’s authenticity. From 1995 through September 1998, Fawwaz provided bin Laden and other al Qaeda members with various means of communications including a satellite phone in order to facilitate communications among al Qaeda members and associates.

In September 1997, Fawwaz leased an office located in London, England (the “Beethoven Office”). That lease was signed by both Fawwaz and Bary. Thereafter, in February 1998, Bary continued the lease of the Beethoven Office until at least September 1998. Bary led the London cell of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and provided logistical assistance to the organization, including in connection with obtaining fake travel documents and delivering messages. The Beethoven Office is where Bary received, among other things, a statement issued on August 4, 1998—three days prior to the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania—by Egyptian Islamic Jihad, threatening to retaliate against the United States. That statement was later found in the Beethoven Office.

By February 1998, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization, led by Ayman Al Zawahiri, had effectively merged with al Qaeda. In February 1998, bin Laden and Zawahiri endorsed a fatwah under the banner of the “International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders.” This fatwah stated that Muslims should kill Americans—including civilians—anywhere in the world where that they could be found.

In the hours immediately preceding the Embassy bombings on August 7, 1998, claims of responsibility for the bombings were sent to the Beethoven Office. After the bombings, those claims of responsibility were also sent to media organizations in France, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The claims stated that the Nairobi, Kenya bombing was carried out by a Saudi national and that the Dar es Salaam, Tanzania bombing was carried out by an Egyptian national.

On May 29, 2001, after a five-month jury trial in this District, Wadih El Hage, Mohammed Sadeek Odeh, Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-‘Owhali, and Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, co-conspirators of Fawwaz and Bary, were convicted of various offenses, including conspiring to kill U.S. nationals, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, murder and attempted murder, in connection with their roles in the al Qaeda conspiracies that culminated in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Based on those convictions, United States District Judge Leonard B. Sand sentenced all four defendants to life in prison. The convictions were affirmed by the Court of Appeals. On November 17, 2010, after a five-week jury trial in this District, co-conspirator Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was convicted of conspiring to destroy buildings and property of the United States. On January 25, 2011, United States District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sentenced Ghailani to life in prison. Ghailani’s appeal of his conviction and sentence is pending.

The indictment charges Fawwaz with four offenses, which carry the following potential penalties:

Count

Charge

Statutory Violation

Maximum Prison Term

One

Conspiracy to kill United States nationals

18 U.S.C. § 2332(b)

Life

Three

Conspiracy to Mmurder

18 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1116, and 1117

Life

Five

Conspiracy to destroy buildings and property of the United States

18 U.S.C. §844(f)(1), (f)(3), and 844(n)

Life

Six

Conspiracy to attack national defense utilities

18 U.S.C. § 2155(a) and (b)

Life



The indictment charges Bary with 284 offenses, which carry the following potential penalties:

Count

Charge

Statutory Violation

Maximum Prison Term

One

Conspiracy to kill United States nationals

18 U.S.C. § 2332(b)

Life

Three

Conspiracy to murder

18 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1116, and 1117

Life

Four

Conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against nationals of the United States

18 U.S.C. §§ 2332a(a)(1) and (a)(3)

Life

Five

Conspiracy to destroy buildings and property of the United States

18 U.S.C. §844(f)(1), (f)(3), and 844(n)

Life

Six

Conspiracy to attack national defense utilities

18 U.S.C. § 2155(a) and (b)

Life

Seven

Bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, resulting in more than 200 deaths

18 U.S.C. §§ 844(f)(1), (f)(3), and 2

Life

Eight

Bombing of the United States Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, resulting in at least 11 deaths

18 U.S.C. §§ 844(f)(1), (f)(3), and 2

Life

Nine

Use and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction against nationals of the United States in Nairobi, Kenya

18 U.S.C. §§ 2332a(a)(1) and (a)(3)

Life

Ten

Use and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction against nationals of the United States in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

18 U.S.C. §§ 2332a(a)(1) and (a)(3)

Life

11-223

Murders in Nairobi, Kenya

18 U.S.C. §§ 930(c), 1111, and 2

Life

224-234

Murders in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

18 U.S.C. §§ 930(c), 1111, and 2

Life

235-275

Murders of employees of the United States in Nairobi, Kenya

18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1114, and 2

Life

276-278

Murder of employees of the United States in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1114, and 2

Life

279

Attempted murder of employees of the United States in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1114, and 2

Life

280-81

Murder of internationally protected persons in Nairobi, Kenya

18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1116, and 2

Life

282

Attempted murder of internationally protected persons in Nairobi, Kenya

18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1116, and 2

Life

283

Attempted murder of internationally protected persons in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1116, and 2

Life

284

Using and carrying an explosive device during commission of a felony

18 U.S.C. §§ 844(h)(1), 844(h)(2), and 2

10 years

285

Using and carrying a dangerous device during the bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

Five years


* * *

The charges, arrests, and extraditions of these three defendants were the result of the close cooperative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the FBI, the NYPD, the United States Marshals Service, New Scotland Yard. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Home Office of the United Kingdom, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the National Security Division, and the United States Department of State for their ongoing assistance.

These two cases are being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John P. Cronan and Edward Y. Kim are in charge of the prosecution of ABU Hamza, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean S. Buckley is in charge of the prosecution of Fawwaz and Bary.

The charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.