(Newsroom America) -- U.S. authorities have announced the extradition of three defendants from the United Kingdom charged with terrorism offenses in two separate cases, which include allegations they conspired with members of al Qaeda to kill United States nationals.
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 was due to be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas.
He will be arraigned Tuesday morning, before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest, at which time Judge Forrest will also hold an initial pre-trial conference.
Fawwaz and Bary were due to 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.
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.
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.