U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida
(305) 961-9001
January 15, 2015

Qazi Brothers Charged with Additional Terrorism Violations and Attempted Murder of Two Deputy U.S. Marshals

The Qazi brothers, naturalized U.S. citizens originally from Pakistan, were charged today with additional terrorism violations and attempted murder of two Deputy U.S. Marshals while the brothers were in custody.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) made the announcement.

Raees Alam Qazi, 22, and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 32, were previously charged in November 2012 with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives).

As alleged in the Superseding Indictment:

From at least July 2011 through Nov. 29, 2012, the defendants conspired to provide material support and resources—including property, service, lodging, communications equipment, and personnel—knowing and intending that this support be used in preparation for and in carrying out a violation of law—namely, a conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. The indictment further alleges that during this time frame the defendants conspired to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against persons and property within the United States. During the same time frame, the indictment alleges that the Qazi brothers conspired and attempted to provide material support to al-Qa’ida and al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula.

As further alleged, on or about April 8, 2014, while being moved within the United States Courthouse complex, the Qazi brothers simultaneously motioned with their heads to cause the Deputy U.S. Marshals to look at the ceiling, the Qazi brothers then simultaneously punched the Deputies in the face and struggled with them.

Further, while struggling with the Deputy U.S. Marshals, the Qazi brothers attempted to use potentially lethal force on them while exclaiming “Allahu Akbar,” an Arabic exhortation meaning “God is Great.”

The Superseding Indictment charges the Qazi brothers with the following counts:

Conspiring to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization, al-Qa’ida and al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula;

Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization, al-Qa’ida and al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula:

Conspiring to Forcibly Assault a Federal Employee, a deputy United States Marshal;

Forcibly Assaulting a Federal Employee, a deputy United States Marshal; and

Attempting to Murder a Federal Employee, a deputy United States Marshal.

The charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists carries a maximum potential sentence of 15 years in prison. The charge of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction carries a maximum potential sentence of life in prison. The charge of conspiring to provide and providing material support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization, al-Qa’ida and al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, carries a maximum potential sentence of 15 years in prison.

The charge of conspiring to forcibility assault a federal employee carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison; the charge of forcibly assaulting a federal employee carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison; and the charge of attempting to murder a federal employee carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen E. Gilbert and Adam Fels, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and Jennifer Levy, Trial Attorney, Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

An indictment contains mere allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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