September 18th 2011 12:15:57 AM
Brooklyn Man Accused of Seeking to Join Terror Group by Liz Robbins, Sept. 9
A 27-year-old man living in Brooklyn was arraigned in federal court on Friday on charges that he provided material support to terrorists and had been planning to join a radical Islamic group in Pakistan.
The man, Agron Hasbajrami, an Albanian citizen who had been living legally in Brooklyn since 2008, had sent more than $1,000 to a contact in Pakistan over the past year for the purpose of financing terrorist activities abroad, authorities said in a federal detention order unsealed Friday.
Mr. Hasbajrami, had told his contact that he wanted to “marry with the girls in paradise,” a common reference to dying as a martyr while fighting jihad.
Mr. Hasbajrami, according to the documents released today, understood that the individual’s group he wanted to join in Pakistan had been fighting, and had killed, American soldiers.
Mr. Hasbajrami had been about to get on a plane to Istanbul, with a one-way ticket, at Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday when he was arrested. A grand jury indicted him on Thursday, and he was arraigned before Judge Lois Bloom of United States District Court in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon.
Mr. Hasbarjami’s contact told him that he needed to bring enough money for food and a weapon, and had given him instructions for his travel that would take him from Turkey to Iran to Pakistan…A confidential source for the F.B.I. then contacted him “on or around Sept. 3,” according to the detention order, and told him he could assist him in joining a different radical jihadist group.
Mr. Hasbajrami was persuaded to do so, but before boarding a plane for Turkey, he was arrested at Kennedy Airport carrying a tent, boots and cold weather gear, the detention order said.
Shortly after his arrest, F.B.I. agents conducted a search of his home, where they found some handwritten notes, according to the detention order.
One note stated simply: “Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time.”
Mr. Hasbajrami, wore a full beard, navy t-shirt and jeans. He acknowledged that he understood the charges to an Albanian translator who stood next to him…
A man accused of seeking to travel to Pakistan so he could die as a martyr by fighting against U.S. forces pleaded not guilty Friday.
Federal agents had arrested Agron Hasbajrami on Tuesday after he showed up at John F. Kennedy International Airport with a one-way ticket to Turkey. Hasbajrami, who lives in Brooklyn, was ordered held without bail Friday at his arraignment on a charge of providing material support to terrorists.
Prosecutors and defense attorney Nancy Ennis told a federal magistrate in Brooklyn that they expected to resolve the case through plea negotiations. Ennis declined to comment afterward.
The government alleges that since 2010, Hasbajrami — an Albania citizen and legal U.S. resident — gave more than $1,000 to an unidentified terrorist group fighting American soldiers in Afghanistan.
…[H]e bought a one-way plane ticket to Istanbul and told the source he was on his way, they say.
Investigators say when they intercepted Hasbajrami at Kennedy Airport he was carrying his Albanian passport, a tent, boots and cold-weather gear. He told them “he had intended to travel to Pakistan to fight,” court papers say.
If convicted, Hasbajrami could face up to 15 years in prison.