nationalsecuritylaw Update on United States v. Raishani (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 2017) (superseding indictment in in IS case)

September 8, 2017

From DOJ’s press release:

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dana J. Boente, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced the filing of a Superseding Indictment charging ADAM RAISHANI, a/k/a “Saddam Mohamed Raishani,” with conspiring to provide, providing and attempting to provide, and aiding and abetting the provision and attempted provision of material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS” or the “Islamic State”), a designated foreign terrorist organization, by allegedly facilitating another ISIS supporter’s travel to join ISIS overseas. RAISHANI had already been charged, in an Indictment filed on June 29, 2017, with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, by allegedly attempting to travel abroad to join ISIS himself. RAISHANI was arrested on June 21, 2017, at John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK Airport”) in Queens, New York, as he allegedly attempted to travel overseas to join ISIS. The Superseding Indictment adds charges against RAISHANI for allegedly agreeing to facilitate, and facilitating another individual’s travel to join ISIS abroad in the fall of 2015. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods.

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nationalsecuritylaw Announcing the Mike Lewis Prize for National Security Law Scholarship

September 5, 2017

Dear friends,

In a break from the usual content for the listserv, I’m writing to alert you that a new prize for outstanding national security-related legal scholarship has been established in honor of our departed colleague Prof. Mike Lewis. The deadline for nominating articles is September 30th, and all the details are posted to Lawfare here:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/announcing-mike-lewis-prize-national-security-law-scholarship

Please spread the word to whomever you think might be interested!

Best,

Bobby

Robert Chesney (website)

Charles I. Francis Professor in Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs | The University of Texas School of Law

Director | The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law (website)

512.232.1298 | Twitter: @bobbychesney | Blog: www.lawfareblog.com | Scholarship: SSRN page


nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Ho (E.D. Tenn. Aug. 31, 2017) (2-yr sentence for Atomic Energy Act violation involving China)

August 31, 2017

Busy day for DOJ in relation to China:

Szuhsiung Ho, aka Allen Ho, 66, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Taiwan, was sentenced today to 24 months in prison and one year of superv
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 2017

U.S. NUCLEAR ENGINEER SENTENCED TO 24 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR VIOLATING THE ATOMIC ENERGY ACT

WASHINGTON – Szuhsiung Ho, aka Allen Ho, 66, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Taiwan, was sentenced today to 24 months in prison and one year of supervised release. Ho was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. The defendant pleaded guilty in January 2017 to conspiracy to unlawfully engage or participate in the production or development of special nuclear material outside the U.S., without the required authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in violation of the Atomic Energy Act.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney Nancy Stallard Harr of the Eastern District of Tennessee and Special Agent in Charge Renae McDermott of the FBI’s Knoxville Field Division made the announcement.

“Today, Allen Ho is being held accountable for enlisting U.S.-based nuclear experts to provide assistance in developing and producing special nuclear material in China for a Chinese state-owned nuclear power company. He did so without the required authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente. “Prosecuting those who unlawfully facilitate the acquisition of sensitive nuclear technology by foreign nations continues to be a top priority of the National Security Division.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s office is committed to working to ensure that sensitive and controlled technology is not illegally obtained and exported from the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Harr. “Violations of our export control laws will be aggressively prosecuted in the Eastern District of Tennessee.”

“Theft of our nuclear technology by foreign adversaries is of paramount concern to the FBI. Along with our local, state and federal partners, we will aggressively investigate those who seek to steal our technology for the benefit of foreign governments,” said Special Agent in Charge McDermott.

An April 2016 indictment charged Ho; China General Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC), the largest nuclear power company in China and Energy Technology International (ETI), a Delaware corporation with these offenses. At the time of his indictment, Ho was a nuclear engineer, employed as a consultant by CGNPC and was also the owner of ETI. CGNPC specialized in the development and manufacture of nuclear reactors and was controlled by China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

According to documents filed in the case, beginning in 1997 and continuing through April 2016, Ho conspired with others to engage or participate in the development or production of special nuclear material in China, without specific authorization to do so from the U.S. Secretary of Energy, as required by law. He assisted CGNPC in procuring U.S.-based nuclear engineers to assist CGNPC and its subsidiaries with designing and manufacturing certain components for nuclear reactors more quickly by reducing the time and financial costs of research and development of nuclear technology. In particular, Ho sought technical assistance related to CGNPC’s Small Modular Reactor Program; CGNPC’s Advanced Fuel Assembly Program; CGNPC’s Fixed In-Core Detector System; and verification and validation of nuclear reactor-related computer codes.

Under the direction of CGNPC, Ho also identified, recruited and executed contracts with U.S.-based experts from the civil nuclear industry who provided technical assistance related to the development and production of special nuclear material for CGNPC in China. Ho and CGNPC also facilitated the travel to China and payments to the U.S.-based experts in exchange for their services.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Tennessee Valley Authority-Office of the Inspector General, DOE-National Nuclear Security Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from other agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles E. Atchley Jr. and Bart Slabbekorn of the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Trial Attorney Casey T. Arrowood of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and Attorney Jeffrey M. Smith of the Appellate Unit in the National Security Division prosecuted this case.

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nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Khusanov (N.D.Ill. Aug. 31, 2017) (material support charge involving Islamic State and al Nusrah)

August 31, 2017

DOJ’s press release:

An indictment was unsealed today charging Dilshod Khusanov, 31, a citizen of Uzbekistan, with conspiring and attempting to provide material
Image removed by sender. The United States Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 2017

DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH CONSPIRING AND ATTEMPTING TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO ISIS AND AL-NUSRAH FRONT

WASHINGTON – An indictment was unsealed today charging Dilshod Khusanov, 31, a citizen of Uzbekistan, with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and al-Nusrah Front, both designated foreign terrorist organizations. The defendant, arrested earlier this morning in Villa Park, Ill., is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman in Chicago, Illinois.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office and Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD made the announcement.

As alleged in the indictment and other court filings, Khusanov belonged to a group of likeminded individuals who provided financial support for persons in the U.S. travel to Syria to join ISIS or al-Nusrah Front. Four other members of this support group and two persons who attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS have been indicted in a separate related case. The investigation began when Abdurasul Juraboev, one of Khusanov’s co-conspirators, came to the attention of law enforcement. Juraboev posted on an Uzbek-language website that propagates ISIS’s ideology his offer to engage in an act of martyrdom on U.S. soil on behalf of ISIS, such as killing the then President of the U.S. Barack Obama. The investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and another co-conspirator, Akhror Saidakhmetov, planned to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of waging violent jihad on behalf of ISIS.

Saidakhmetov was arrested on Feb. 25, 2015, at John F. Kennedy International Airport where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Juraboev previously purchased a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul and was scheduled to leave the U.S. in March 2015. Abror Habibov, Dilkhayot Kasimov, Azizjon Rakhmatov and Akmal Zakirov – were charged in the related case with funding Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIS. Juraboev pleaded guilty on Aug. 14, 2015, while Saidakhmetov pleaded guilty on January 19 and Abror Habibov on August 29 – all to charges of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.

As alleged in the indictment and other court filings, Khusanov, a legal permanent resident of the U.S., helped to fund the efforts of Saidakhmetov and others to join ISIS or al-Nusrah Front. In particular, Khusanov and Zakirov discussed providing their own money to cover Saidakhmetov’s travel expenses. Khusanov also agreed to raise money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel. In the week leading up to Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure, Khusanov transferred money into Zakirov’s personal bank account, which funds were intended to facilitate Saidakhmetov’s travel to join ISIS. Khusanov and others also provided financial assistance for other persons from the U.S. to join either ISIS or al-Nusrah Front.

If convicted, Khusanov faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The charges in the superseding indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon, Douglas M. Pravda, Peter W. Baldwin and David K. Kessler of the Eastern District of New York and Trial Attorney Steven Ward of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas of the Northern District of Illinois.

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nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Sun (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2017) (3-yr sentence in IEEPA case involving military-grade carbon fiber and China)

August 31, 2017

DOJ press release below:

Fuyi Sun, aka “Frank,” 53, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China (China), was sentenced today to three years in prison for violating t

CHINESE NATIONAL SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS FOR ATTEMPTING TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT HIGH-GRADE CARBON FIBER TO CHINA

WASHINGTON – Fuyi Sun, aka “Frank,” 53, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China (China), was sentenced today to three years in prison for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in connection with a scheme to illegally export to China, without a license, high-grade carbon fiber, which is used primarily in aerospace and military applications. Sun pleaded guilty on April 21.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim for the Southern District of New York made the announcement. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein issued the sentence.

“Today, Sun is being held accountable for attempting to procure high grade carbon fiber – a material which has dual aerospace and defense applications – for a source he identified as the Chinese military,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente. “Identifying and prosecuting those who seek to violate IEEPA and other laws designed to protect our strategic commodities from those who may wish us harm remains a top priority of the National Security Division.”

“For nearly five years, Fuyi Sun tried to skirt U.S. export laws to obtain high-grade carbon fiber for the Chinese government. He spent thousands of dollars and took years of covert actions to avoid detection of his plan to purchase this highly protected material,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kim. “Unbeknownst to Sun, however, he wasn’t making a deal with an unscrupulous company – he was dealing with undercover federal law enforcement agents, who foiled his clandestine plot.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and Indictment filed against Sun, and statements made in court filings and proceedings in open court:

Since approximately 2011, Sun has attempted to acquire extremely high-grade carbon fiber, including Toray type M60JB-3000-50B carbon fiber (M60 Carbon Fiber). M60 Carbon Fiber has applications in aerospace technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly known as drones) and other government defense applications. Accordingly, M60 Carbon Fiber is strictly controlled for nuclear non-proliferation and anti-terrorism reasons. As part of these restrictions, the export of M60 Carbon Fiber to China without a license is prohibited.

In furtherance of his attempts to illegally export M60 Carbon Fiber from the U.S. to China without a license, Sun contacted what he believed was a distributor of carbon fiber – but which was, in fact, an undercover entity created by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and “staffed” by HSI undercover special agents (the UC Company). Sun inquired about purchasing the M60 Carbon Fiber without the required license. In the course of his years-long communications with the undercover agents and UC Company, Sun repeatedly suggested various security measures that he believed would protect them from “U.S. intelligence.” Among other such measures, at one point, Sun instructed the undercover agents to use the term “banana” instead of “carbon fiber” in their communications. Consequently, soon thereafter he inquired about purchasing 450 kilograms of “banana” for more than $62,000. In order to avoid detection, Sun also suggested removing the identifying barcodes for the M60 Carbon Fiber, prior to transshipment, and further suggested that they identify the M60 Carbon Fiber as “acrylic fiber” in customs documents.

On April 11, 2016, Sun traveled from China to New York for the purpose of purchasing M60 Carbon Fiber from the UC Company. During meetings with the undercover agents on April 11 and 12, among other things, Sun suggested that the Chinese military was the ultimate end-user for the M60 Carbon Fiber he sought to acquire from the UC Company, and claimed to have personally worked in the Chinese missile program. Sun further asserted that he maintained a close relationship with the Chinese military, had a sophisticated understanding of the Chinese military’s need for carbon fiber, and suggested that he would be supplying the M60 Carbon Fiber to the Chinese military or to institutions closely associated with it.

On April 12, 2016, Sun agreed to purchase two cases of M60 Carbon Fiber from the UC Company. On that date, Sun paid the undercover agents purporting to represent the UC Company $23,000 in cash for the carbon fiber, as well as an additional $2,000 as compensation for the risk he believed the UC Company was taking to illegally export the carbon fiber to China without a license. Sun was arrested the next day.

***

Mr. Boente and Mr. Kim praised the extraordinary investigative work of the New York Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; the New York Field Office of the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement; and the Northeast Field Office of the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Mr. Kim also thanked the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Podolsky, Patrick Egan and Nick Lewin of the Southern District of New York, and Trial Attorney David Recker of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division are prosecuting the case.

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nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Ahmed (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2017) (US citizen attempted to travel to Syria to join Islamic State – material support case)

August 29, 2017

DOJ’s press release appears below. They have fancied-up their formatting a bit, so it looks a bit different than in the past:

Yesterday, Parveg Ahmed, 22, a U.S. citizen of Queens, New York, was arrested on charges of attempting to provide material support to the Is
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2017

NEW YORK MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTING TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO ISIS

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Parveg Ahmed, 22, a U.S. citizen of Queens, New York, was arrested on charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization. The defendant is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon at 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.

The charges were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD.

As alleged in the complaint, the defendant traveled to Saudi Arabia in June 2017, purportedly to celebrate an Islamic religious holiday. Upon his arrival in Saudi Arabia, the defendant attempted to travel to Syria to enter ISIS-controlled territory.

The defendant was deported back to the U.S. on August 28, where he was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The charge in the federal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security & Cybercrime Section and the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Craig R. Heeren are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Joshua D. Champagne of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division.

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nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Elshinawy (D. Maryland Aug. 15, 2017) (guilty plea in Islamic State material support case)

August 16, 2017

Press release below, and indictment attached:

WASHINGTON – Mohamed Elshinawy, 32, of Edgewood, Md., pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization; providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS terrorism financing; and making false statements in connection with a terrorism matter.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney of the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning and Special Agent in Charge Gordon Johnson of the FBI’s Baltimore Office.

According to the plea agreement, Elshinawy conspired with others to knowingly provide material support and resources to ISIS, knowing that ISIS was a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. From February 2015 through about Dec. 11, 2015, in Maryland and elsewhere, Elshinawy conspired with others to provide material support and resources, including personnel, services (including means and methods of communication), and financial services, to ISIS. Elshinawy and his co-conspirators utilized various methods of secret communication in order to conceal their criminal association and activities from law enforcement.

As a part of the conspiracy, Elshinawy expressed his support for an Islamic caliphate and his belief in the legitimacy of ISIS. In addition, he expressed his hope that ISIS would be victorious and its enemies defeated, and discussed his readiness to travel to live in the Islamic State. In various other conversations, Elshinawy pledged his allegiance to ISIS, described himself as its soldier, committed to making violent jihad, and asked that others convey his message of loyalty to ISIS leadership.

Elshinawy also received payments from a foreign company totaling $8,700 to be used to fund a terrorist attack in the U.S.

In an interview with FBI agents on July 17, 2015, in an effort to conceal and minimize his criminal involvement with ISIS, Elshinawy provided false information regarding the total amount of money he had received from ISIS operatives and claimed his intent was to defraud ISIS of funds. Throughout his interviews, Elshinawy mischaracterized the true nature and extent of his association with ISIS operatives and the support he had provided to ISIS.

The maximum sentence for conspiracy to provide and for providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization is 20 years in prison; the maximum sentence for collection of terrorism financing is 20 years in prison; and the maximum sentence for making false statements in a terrorism matter is eight years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. Elshinawy’s sentence will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Elshinawy has been detained since his arrest on Dec. 11, 2015, on related charges.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Manuelian and Kenneth Clark and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

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Indictment – Elshinawy.pdf