As alleged in the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and other documents filed in the case:
Abassi, who previously resided in Canada, traveled to the United States in mid-March 2013, where he remained until his arrest. While in the United States, Abassi, who was under surveillance by law enforcement agents at all times, maintained regular contact with an FBI undercover officer (the UC) and also met with Chiheb Esseghaier in New York City. Esseghaier, who was recently arrested in Canada and is currently incarcerated there on terrorism charges, was previously radicalized by Abassi. During Abassi’s discussions with Esseghaier and with the UC, which were recorded by the UC, Abassi discussed his desire to engage in terrorist acts against targets in the United States and other countries and his intention to provide support and funding to organizations engaged in terrorist activity—including the al Nusrah Front, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of State as an alias for Al Qaeda in Iraq—and to recruit other individuals for terrorist plots. In particular, Abassi discussed with the UC a number of individuals known to Abassi and/or to his associates, whom he described as like- minded and who, in his view, would be willing to engage in terrorist activity.
On April 12, 2013, Abassi and the UC discussed Abassi’s efforts to recruit others for terrorist plots and that he might be able to obtain immigration documents to remain in the United States, purportedly in order to work for the UC’s U.S.-based company. In reality, Abassi made clear that he wanted to obtain immigration documents and to remain in the United States so that he could engage in “projects” relating to future terrorist activities, including recruitment. Thereafter, Abassi made false statements on two immigration forms, under penalty of perjury, and subsequently mailed those forms to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for processing.
The indictment charges Abassi with two counts of knowingly making false statements in an application to the immigration authorities for a green card and work visa in order to facilitate an act of international terrorism. Each count carries a maximum term of 25 years in prison.
And via Jawa Report, Abassi studied Chemical Engineering at a Quebec University
A man arrested in a U.S. terror plot in New York April 22 was a graduate student studying chemical engineering at Laval University in Quebec City, CBC News has learned.
Ahmed Abassi’s major is “particularly chilling” in conjunction with other evidence presented against him by the FBI, said CBC’s Greg Weston.
Nothing was imminent in the FBI controlled operation. So why did it take until May 9th to announce the April 22 arrest?
Update: It turns out he waived his Miranda rights and was interrogated for nine straight days that led to part of the delay.