FROM: U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Two Yemeni Nationals Charged with Conspiring to Murder United States Nationals Abroad and Providing Material Support to Al-Qaeda
Defendants Allegedly Conspired to Carry Out Armed Attacks Against United States Military Personnel and Facilitated the Entry of an American Citizen into Al-Qaeda
A complaint and arrest warrant were unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Saddiq Al-Abbadi, also known as “Sufiyan al-Yemeni” and “Sufwan,” and Ali Alvi, also known as “Issa al-Yemeni,” with conspiracy to murder United States nationals abroad and providing material support to al-Qaeda. Alvi’s initial appearance was held before United States Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke on Jan. 18, 2015, and Al-Abbadi’s initial appearance is scheduled today before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom. Al-Abbadi and Alvi were arrested in Saudi Arabia pursuant to the pending warrants in this case and lawfully expelled to the United States.
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office.
As alleged in the complaint, Al-Abbadi and Alvi are both members of al-Qaeda who engaged in attacks against United States military forces stationed in Afghanistan. Between 2003 and 2007, Al-Abbadi also fought against United States military forces in Iraq. In approximately March 2008, Al-Abbadi and Alvi traveled to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan for the purpose of training with and fighting for al-Qaeda. During that time period, both defendants helped an American citizen gain entry into al-Qaeda so that he could fight against U.S. troops in Afghanistan and U.S. citizens in the homeland.
In approximately late spring and summer 2008, Al-Abbadi and Alvi traveled from Pakistan to Afghanistan to conduct attacks against United States military personnel stationed there. Al-Abbadi led a battle against U.S. forces in Paktya Province in May 2008 during which one U.S. Army Ranger was killed and several others were seriously wounded.
“There is no escape from the reach of our law for violent terrorists, especially if they target our military,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Al-Abbadi and Alvi may have operated in the mountains of Afghanistan, but now they face justice in a courtroom in Brooklyn.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI.
“With the charges announced today, these defendants will face justice for conspiring to kill Americans overseas and providing material support to al-Qaeda,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “Seeking to identify, thwart, and hold accountable those who target U.S. citizens and interests around the world will remain a top priority of the National Security Division. I want to thank the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this matter.”
“The arrest and prosecution of these two individuals, who allegedly directly supported the mission of a designated terrorist organization, is a major step in the international cooperation to combat terrorism,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McCabe. “On a daily basis, the FBI is faced with a complex threat environment that is always evolving and changing. Through international partnerships, the FBI will continue to pursue those who provide support to terrorist groups and ensure that they are brought to justice.”
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Zainab Ahmad, Michael P. Canty and Douglas M. Pravda, with assistance provided by Trial attorney Josh Parecki of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section and by the Office of International Affairs.