BY JIM KOURI
On Wednesday, in the U.S. District Court Brooklyn, N.Y., Agron Hasbajrami, an Albanian national who resided in Brooklyn, learned he will spend the next 15 years in federal prison for his attempt to provide material support to terrorists.
In addition, Hasbajrami will be deported from the United States upon completion of his prison term. United States District Judge John Gleeson imposed sentence.
As stated on the record during the guilty plea and sentencing proceedings and according to court filings, in early 2011, while living in New York City’s borough of Brooklyn, the 28-year-old Hasbajrami exchanged e-mail messages with an individual in Pakistan who indicated that he was a member of an armed group that had murdered American soldiers. Hasbajrami then sent the individual more than $1,000 to support the jihadist cause.
Then, in pursuit of his goal to engage personally in violent jihad, Hasbajrami arranged to meet the individual in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan (the FATA). In one e-mail message, Hasbajrami stated that he wished to travel abroad to “marry with the girls in paradise,” using jihadist rhetoric to describe his desire to die as a martyr.
In September 2011, Hasbajrami purchased a one-way airplane ticket to travel to the Middle East on his way to the FATA to fight violent jihad. He was arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, as he embarked on his one-way flight.
At the time of his arrest, Hasbajrami was carrying a tent, boots, and cold-weather gear. A search of Hasbajrami’s residence in Brooklyn revealed, among other items, a note reading “Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time.” In April 2012, Hasbajrami pled guilty in federal district court in Brooklyn to attempting to provide material support to terrorists by joining a jihadist fighting group overseas.
“Hasbajrami sought to use New York as the launching pad for his terrorist scheme. Hoping to die a martyr to the cause of violent jihad, he will spend 15 years of his remaining days in federal prison. In addition, this sentence should serve as a strong deterrent to anyone who would consider supporting terrorism or launching an operation from the United States,” stated United States Attorney Loretta Lynch.
The Moral Liberal Contributing Editor, Jim Kouri, CPP, is the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Contact Jim.