Suspected Terrorist Extradited from UK to New York
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Syed Hashmi, a/k/a "Fahad," arrived in New York late Monday evening after being extradited from the United Kingdom on federal charges of providing material support to Al- Qaeda. This is the first time that the United Kingdom has extradited an individual to the United States on terrorism charges.
According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court:
From January 2004 through May 2006, Hashmi, 27, a United States citizen, provided material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, namely Al-Qaeda. In connection with these charges, he assisted Al-Qaeda by providing military gear to others who then transported the gear to Al-Qaeda associates in South Waziristan, Pakistan. Hashmi also agreed with others to provide military gear to Al Qaeda to be used by the terrorists to fight against United States forces in Afghanistan.
Hashmi is charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, namely al Qaeda; one count of providing material support or resources to al Qaeda; and one count of conspiracy to make a contribution of funds, good or services to, and for the benefit of, al Qaeda.
The charges of providing material support or resources to al Qaeda each carry a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment. The charge of conspiring to make a contribution of funds, goods or services to al Qaeda, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. The total maximum sentence for the charges against him is 50 years’ imprisonment.
Hashmi was presented in United States Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and later arraigned before United States District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, May 30, 2007.
US Attorney Michael Garcia praised the investigative efforts of the Joint Terrorism Task Force ("JTTF"), especially those JTTF members from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York City Police Department.
Mr. Garcia thanked the Office of International Affairs of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice and the United States Marshal’s Service for its work in effectuating the extradition. He also expressed his gratitude to the British authorities and law enforcement community, including New Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service, for their cooperation in the investigation.
Garcia stated in a press release, "This is the first extradition on terrorism charges from the United Kingdom and it has yielded a defendant who provided material support to al Qaeda. Syed Hashmi, an American citizen, is charged with providing military gear to al Qaeda to use against United States forces in Afghanistan."
FBI Assistant Director Mark Mershon added, "If we are engaged in a war against terror -- and we most certainly are -- then Syed Hashmi aided the enemy by supplying military gear to al Qaeda. The JTTF is committed to eradicating terrorism anywhere in the world, from the streets of New York to the hills of Afghanistan. In a global community, terrorism anywhere is a threat to people everywhere."
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, "This arrest reinforces the the fact that a terrorist may have roots in Queens and still betray us. Congratulations to the New York City detectives and FBI agents who understood this and kept Hashmi on our radar."
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.