nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Babafemi (E.D.N.Y.) (sentencing in AQAP material support case)

The interesting thing about this fact pattern is that the defendant was not an American and was not arrested in America. He was a Nigerian who traveled to Yemen, joined and trained with AQAP, and apparently intended to recruit for AQAP back in Nigeria. From DOJ’s press release:

WASHINGTON – Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, 35, a Nigerian citizen, was sentenced today to 22 years in prison for conspiring to provide and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The sentence was imposed by the U.S. District Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York.

Babafemi pleaded guilty to providing and conspiring to provide material support to AQAP on April 29, 2014. According to previous court filings, between approximately January 2010 and August 2011, the defendant traveled twice from Nigeria to Yemen to meet and train with leaders of AQAP, the Yemen-based branch of al-Qaeda that has been linked to a number of plots targeting the U.S. homeland over the past decade. AQAP leaders trained Babafemi in the use of weapons, including AK-47 assault rifles, and taught him the importance of AQAP’s English-language media operations to its mission of inspiring “lone-wolf” style attacks abroad in the name of AQAP. Babafemi assisted in AQAP’s English-language media operations, which include the publication of the online Inspire Magazine, and worked closely with Samir Khan, the founder of Inspire and a U.S. citizen. Babafemi’s photograph, alongside Khan and other AQAP members, each holding an AK-47, was published in Issue 5 of Inspire; he also wrote rap lyrics on behalf of the group, hoping to extend its appeal to young Westerners. At the direction of the now-deceased senior AQAP leader Anwar al-Aulaqi, AQAP provided Babafemi with the equivalent of almost $9,000 in cash to recruit other English-speakers from Nigeria to join the terrorist organization. Babafemi attempted to recruit other Nigerians to join AQAP, but was arrested before he could complete that mission and conduct further activities on behalf of the organization.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: