Alleged Terrorist Naseer Extradited to U.S., Prosecutors SayErik Larson and Christie Smythe
Abid Naseer, a Pakistani man wanted by U.S. prosecutors on charges related to an alleged plot to bomb the New York City subway system, was extradited from the U.K. to New York.
Naseer, 26, who was arrested by U.K. counter-terrorism officers following the U.S. extradition request, will appear Jan. 7 in federal court in Brooklyn, U.S. prosecutors said today in a statement. A U.K. judge ruled a year ago that Naseer could be extradited and he lost an appeal last month.
U.S. prosecutors allege that Naseer was linked to a plot to attack New York’s subway system that was uncovered in September 2009. The plot involving Colorado resident Najibullah Zazi was directed by senior al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Naseer is accused of helping al-Qaeda in a multinational conspiracy to attack multiple targets, U.S. prosecutors said. Last January, three defendants also alleged to be part of the conspiracy were convicted in a Norwegian court of plotting an attack in Denmark, U.S. prosecutors said.
“The defendant is one of a long line of terrorist suspects extradited to these shores and this courthouse to face justice for their efforts to wreak havoc here and overseas,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “As alleged, this defendant was instrumental in one tentacle of an international plot that reached to New York, Norway and the United Kingdom.”
Evidence presented during Naseer’s extradition hearing and in U.S. trials of terrorism suspects shows that al-Qaeda leaders were communicating with the subway bomb plotters through a Pakistan-based facilitator who was also communicating with Naseer, according to prosecutors.
Naseer is one of 10 Pakistani nationals arrested earlier by British police in Manchester and Liverpool in 2009 as part of a separate counter-terrorism operation. While U.K. security officials said at the time the men were about to mount an attack, they weren’t charged.
In May 2010, two months before his arrest on the U.S. extradition request, Naseer won the right to stay in Britain after an immigration court ruled that he faced torture or death if deported to Pakistan.