USA: AL QAEDA OPERATIVE SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON
February 16, 2018:
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan in New York City today sentenced Al Qaeda operative Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, 47, to life in prison. (Source: waaytv.com, 16/02/2018)
Harun, or Spin Ghul, as he was known to fellow militants, was not present in court for the trial. Since his extradition from Italy in October 2012, he has insisted he is a “warrior” who should face a military tribunal rather than criminal proceedings.
He was convicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in March 2017 for participating in lethal attacks against US and coalition troops in Afghanistan and for attempting to bomb the US Embassy in Nigeria. Harun, who claims Niger citizenship, says he was born in 1971 when his parents were on a pilgrims’ journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Harun was seriously injured in an April 2003 machine gun and grenade ambush attack at a US military base in Afghanistan, that killed Pfc. Jerod Dennis, 19, and Airman 1st Class Raymond Losano, 24, authorities said. Harun escaped across the border into Pakistan. US soldiers recovered a small brown Quran near the scene of firefight and the FBI found Harun's fingerprints on it, the government said. Harun was sent to Nigeria with orders to detonate a bomb at the US Embassy, but the plan fell apart, the government said. He fled to Libya, where he was jailed from 2005 to 2011, the government said in a news release. In June 2011, Harun was taken into custody by Italian authorities on a ship carrying 1,200 North African refugees from an island on the Mediterranean Sea to the Italian mainland, court document said.
Harun allegedly told Italian authorities that he was an al Qaeda member and had sought to enter Europe in 2005 to carry out attacks, the federal government said. In September (October) 2012, Italian authorities handed Harun over to US authorities after the US government agreed not to seek the death penalty.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, federal prosecutors have used civilian courts to bring more than 500 international terrorism cases, obtaining convictions in more than 400 to date, according to Fordham University’s Center on National Security. Most of the others are pending. None of the alleged 9/11 conspirators, who were indicted in 2009 and remain at Guantanamo, has been tried. The earliest that might happen is 2019.