Posted by News Express | 28 August 2013 | 3,849 times
A Nigerian national, Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, has been indicted by a Brooklyn Federal Court in the United States of America in connection with international terrorism.
Babafemi, 33, was indicted yesterday for ‘providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (“AQAP”), and using high-powered firearms in furtherance of that crime,’ according to a statement by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The statement made available to News Express through the Information Depratment of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said: ‘The United States is currently seeking the extradition of the defendant, Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, also known as “Abdullah” and “Ayatollah Mustapha,” from Nigeria. At the request of the United States, the Nigerian government thereafter commenced extradition proceedings against the defendant in July 2013.
‘The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division; and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office. United States Attorney Lynch acknowledged the continued cooperation and assistance of the government of Nigeria in terrorism matters affecting both nations.
‘According to court documents, 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. Babafemi assisted in AQAP’s English-language media operations, which include the publication of the magazine “Inspire.” At the direction of the now-deceased senior AQAP commander Anwar al-Aulaqi, Babafemi was provided by AQAP leadership with the equivalent of almost $9,000 in cash to recruit other English-speakers from Nigeria to join that group. While in Yemen, Babafemi also received weapons training from AQAP.
‘The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
‘The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Zainab Ahmad and Hilary Jager, with assistance from Trial Attorney William M. Narus of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section and Trial Attorney Timothy Hammer of the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.’
•Photo: al-Qaeda banner.
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