An alleged al-Qaeda operative was charged in Brooklyn, New York, with plotting to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan and attack U.S. diplomatic facilities in Nigeria.
Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, 43, also known as “Spin Ghul,” was charged in a six-count indictment unsealed today in federal court with conspiring to murder U.S. nationals and bomb a U.S. facility and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
Harun, who was born in Saudi Arabia and claims Niger citizenship, is accused of being involved in al-Qaeda activities since before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington.
Along with conspiracy charges, he faces counts of providing material support to al-Qaeda and related firearms and explosives charges. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, prosecutors said.
“Vowing allegiance to al Qaeda and training to commit violent jihad are not the worst of Harun’s alleged crimes,” FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos, head of the bureau’s New York office, said in a statement. “Harun not only intended to, but did, commit acts of terrorism against Americans. Now he is subject to the American justice system.”
David Stern, a lawyer for Harun, declined to comment on the indictment.
Harun traveled from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan to wage “violent jihad,” arriving shortly before the Sept. 11 attacks, prosecutors said. After receiving training from the terrorist organization, he fought U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and attempted to kill U.S. military personnel from 2002 to 2003, according to prosecutors.
The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan began in October 2001.
In 2003, Harun received further training from al-Qaeda in Pakistan and traveled to Africa with plans to bomb U.S. diplomatic facilities in Nigeria, prosecutors said. He later traveled to Libya, where he was arrested in 2005 and released by the country’s government in June 2011, prosecutors said.
Italian authorities later arrested Harun for assaulting officers on a refugee ship bound for Italy, prosecutors said. He was extradited to the U.S. on Oct. 4, they said.
“Whether they try to attack our servicemen on the battlefield, or scheme to kill our diplomats and citizens in embassies abroad, terrorists will find no refuge,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said today in a statement. “The United States will use every tool at our disposal to protect our nation’s security and stop terrorist attacks before they happen.”
The case is U.S. v. Harun, 1:12-cr-00134, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).