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

August 13, 2015

This one involved a Brooklyn resident who sent money to a jihadist organization in Pakistan and attempted to go there to join with such a group. From the DOJ press release:

WASHINGTON – Agron Hasbajrami, 31, an Albanian citizen and resident of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for attempting and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Pursuant to the terms of his plea agreement, Hasbajrami will be removed from the United States at the conclusion of his sentence. The sentencing proceeding was held before U.S. District Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York.

…. As stated during the guilty plea and sentencing proceedings, and according to court filings, in September 2011, Hasbajrami attempted to travel to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan (the FATA) for the purpose of joining a radical jihadist insurgent group. In addition, he sent over $1,000 in multiple wire transfers abroad to support terrorist activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In pursuing his goal of fighting jihad, the defendant exchanged email messages with an individual in Pakistan who said he was a member of an armed group that had murdered American soldiers and kidnapped Westerners. In one email message, Hasbajrami stated that it was difficult to ask for money from fellow Muslims because they became apprehensive “when they hear it is for jihad.” In another email, he stated that he wished to travel overseas, using jihadist rhetoric to describe his desire to die as a martyr.

On Sept. 5, 2011, Hasbajrami purchased a one-way airline ticket to travel to Turkey the following day. Based on Hasbajrami’s email communications, he intended to travel from Turkey to the FATA to join a jihadist group. On Sept. 6, 2011, the defendant was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport. At the time of his arrest, he was carrying a tent, boots and cold weather gear. A search of the defendant’s residence revealed, among other items, a note reading “Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time.” ….