Al Qaeda operative to be tried in New York civil court
WASHINGTON (PAN): More than five months after being taken into US custody, the Obama administration on Wednesday announced Al Qaeda operative Spin Gul would be tried in a civil court in New York, a decision opposed by Republicans.
Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, also known as Spin Gul, was a prototype operative, trained by Al Qaeda in terrorist tradecraft, deployed to fight American servicemen and dispatched to commit terrorist attacks throughout the world, an official said.
US Attorney Loretta E Lynch said this after the man’s arrest was made public. Charged on a six-count indictment, Gul was extradited from Italy to the US on October 4, 2012, and arraigned in a sealed proceeding in the Brooklyn federal court in New York the next day.
If convicted of all the charges in the indictment, he faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison. He is charged with crimes related to his alleged terrorist activities on behalf of Al Qaeda beginning in 2001.
Gul arrived in Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia shortly before the September 11, 2001 attacks. He joined Al Qaeda, received military-type training and ultimately fought against US and Coalition forces with fighting group based in Pakistan.
The Department of Justice alleged that the detainee had attempted to kill US military personnel in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2003. He received further training in 2003 in Pakistan, and travelled to Africa with the intent to conduct attacks on US diplomatic facilities in Nigeria. While in Nigeria, he allegedly conspired with others to bomb such facilities.
After the arrest of a co-conspirator, the defendant travelled to Libya, en route to Europe, but was apprehended in early 2005. He remained in Libyan custody until June 2011, when he was released by the government in Tripoli. He was then arrested by Italian authorities after assaulting officers on board a refugee ship.
Republicans opposed the Obama administration’s decision to try him in a civilian court. “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the administration has once again decided to forgo an extensive intelligence interrogation and instead bring an enemy combatant immediately into the federal court system,” said Senator Saxby Chambliss, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Congressman Adam Smith, however, supported the decision. “I am pleased to see that the administration continues to use one our most effective tools to bring terrorists to justice – the federal court system,” he said.
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