New York: Muslim who tried to enter UK charged with supporting ISIS terrorists

via DOJ: New York Man Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS

Sajmir Alimehmeti, aka Abdul Qawii, 22, of the Bronx, New York, was arrested today for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, as well as for making a false statement in an application for a U.S. passport.  Alimehmeti is expected to be presented later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein of the Southern District of New York.

“Alimehmeti was charged for his attempt to provide material support to ISIL by assisting a person who he believed was traveling to Syria to join ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.

“As alleged, Sajmir Alimehmeti, a Bronx man and an ISIL sympathizer, took steps to travel overseas to support ISIL’s terror campaign,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara.  “As the complaint alleges, Alimehmeti also bought military-type weapons and helped someone he believed to be a fellow ISIL supporter get travel documents, equipment and encryption technology purportedly to get to Syria to fight with ISIL.  Alimehmeti is charged today with actions that show a clear intention to support a terrorist organization that is hell-bent on murder and mayhem.  For that, thanks to the incredibly dedicated work of the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, Alimehmeti is under arrest and facing federal criminal charges.”

“The subject in this case was allegedly having a hard time getting overseas to fight with ISIL,” said Assistant Director in Charge Rodriguez.  “But when he couldn’t leave, he allegedly seemed more than willing to help others tread the same path to join an insidious and deadly terrorist organization.  Cases like this keep the FBI JTTF and our partners at the NYPD going day in and day out, protecting our city from individuals who plot to help murderers.”

“As alleged, Alimehmeti continued his quest to support ISIL’s deadly terrorist agenda, after being denied entry into Europe with a bag full of military gear,” said Commissioner Bratton.  “When he returned home, to the Bronx, he allegedly turned to helping others join the terrorist organization as he built his own arsenal of weapons.  Today’s case is the latest example of collaboration at its best, a case worked through the Joint Terrorism Task Force with undercover officers from the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau.”

As alleged in the criminal complaint, unsealed today in federal court:

In October 2014, Alimehmeti attempted to enter the United Kingdom but was denied entry after U.K. authorities found camouflage clothing and nunchucks in his luggage.  In December 2014, Alimehmeti was again denied entry into the United Kingdom, this time after U.K. authorities found that his cellphone contained images of ISIL flags and improvised explosive device attacks.  Further forensic examination of images on the cellphone and Alimehmeti’s laptop computer showed numerous indications of Alimehmeti’s support for ISIL, including a picture of Alimehmeti with an ISIL flag in the background, pictures of ISIL fighters in the Middle East, a picture of Alimehmeti making a gesture of support for ISIL and numerous audio files relating to jihad and martyrdom.

After returning to the United States, Alimehmeti continued to express his support for -ISIL by displaying an ISIL flag in his apartment in the Bronx, among other things.  In meetings with undercover law enforcement employees, Alimehmeti played multiple ISIL-related videos on his computer and his phone, including videos of ISIL decapitating prisoners.

Over the last 11 months, Alimehmeti made multiple purchases of military-style knives and other military-type equipment, including masks, handcuffs, a pocket chain-saw and steel-knuckled gloves.

In October 2015, Alimehmeti applied for a new U.S. passport, claiming his previous passport had been lost.  However, Alimehmeti later told an undercover law enforcement employee that his prior passport had not been lost and, instead, that he was applying for a new passport because he believed rejection stamps on his old passport, including rejection stamps from his attempted entries into the United Kingdom, would make it difficult to travel.

In May 2016, Alimehmeti attempted to assist an individual who was purportedly traveling from New York to Syria to train and fight with ISIL but who was actually an undercover law enforcement employee (UC).  On May 17, 2016, Alimehmeti met with the UC in Manhattan, New York, where the UC was purportedly en route to John F. Kennedy International Airport to take an overseas flight later that night in order to join ISIL.

Alimehmeti agreed to help the UC with several tasks before the UC went to the airport, including by locating stores so that the UC could purchase supplies to use while traveling to and fighting with ISIL, including a cellphone, boots, a compass, a bag and flashlight, among other items.  Alimehmeti provided the UC with advice and suggestions on the best boots to purchase and on which items to purchase.  The defendant also advised the UC on the use of different kinds of encrypted communications apps, including an app that Alimehmeti stated was currently being used by “the brothers,” and downloaded three encrypted communications apps onto the UC’s new cellphone.

Further, Alimehmeti assisted the UC in traveling from Manhattan to a hotel in Queens, New York, so that the UC could purportedly meet with an individual who was preparing travel documents that the UC would use to travel to Syria (document facilitator).  Alimehmeti, who had repeatedly expressed his own desire to travel to join ISIL, gave the UC a piece of paper with his name and contact information so that the UC could provide that information to the supposed document facilitator.  In voicing his interest in joining ISIL, Alimehmeti stated, excitedly, “I’m ready to . . . go with you man . . . you know I would.  I’m done with this place.”  After leaving the hotel in Queens, Alimehmeti brought the UC to Kennedy International Airport via public transportation.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If convicted, Alimehmeti faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for providing material support and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for making a false statement in an application for a U.S. passport.

Alimehmeti Complaint

Museum of Islamic Supremacy to be Built on Site of Failed Ground Zero Mosque

Source: Apartments, Islamic museum to be built on site of failed Ground Zero Mosque | New York Post

The developer of the failed Ground Zero Mosque has nailed down “Sharia-compliant financing” for a new, luxury condominium tower and Islamic cultural museum on the same site, he and his banking partners said Wednesday.

The $174 million dollar project features a three-story Islamic cultural museum at 51 Park Place and 48 high-end residential condos in a 43-story tower at 45 Park Place in the Financial District.

The “Sharia-compliant” financing means the deal complies with complex Islamic laws that govern lending and borrowing, including a prohibition against accepting interest or fees for loans.

Manhattan developer Sharif El-Gamal’s 2010 plan for a 15-story Islamic cultural center sparked protests from opponents who dubbed it the “Ground Zero Mosque,” although it was four blocks away.

He abandoned that plan in 2011 and there has been little apparent opposition to the smaller museum or the development itself.

The project now includes two multi-story penthouses on the top four floors along with a pool, gym and kids’ playroom.

The deal, finalized Tuesday, was funded by the London branch of Malayan Banking Berhad.

The project was designed by Michel Abboud of SOMA Architects, along with Ismael Leyva Architects, and will include a 2,821 square-foot public plaza, green space and a retail shop.


Previous posts on the slum lord, thug and fraudster here.

New York: 3 Muslim Relatives Operating 4 Gas Stations Arrested for Tax Fraud

Diversity and immigration alert.

Source: 3 Individuals Operating 4 Convenience Stores in Onondaga and Madison Counties Arrested for Grand Larceny

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced the arrest of three individuals, each charged with multiple felonies for failing to pay thousands of dollars of sales taxes they collected from fuel sales made at their four gas station-convenience stores.

Combined, the four businesses, two in Onondaga County, two in Madison County, owe the State approximately $170,000 in back sales taxes.

The three defendants, Eliana Wady, Mohammad Wady, and Qusai Abdul Jaber, are related to each other and responsible for the operations of the businesses.

“These business owners are charged with keeping  the sales tax they collected from their customers, instead of  remitting it to New York State as they are required to do,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone.  “Such criminal conduct deprives hard-working New Yorkers of valuable public services and puts honest competitors at an unfair disadvantage.”

Eliana Wady

Eliana Wady, 46, of 4853 Coventry Road, Syracuse, is currently the owner of Sanna Seniora, which operates as a gas station, convenience store, and a restaurant at 6325 Thompson Road in East Syracuse.  She was also the owner of two additional gas station-convenience stores: Tala-Seniora, formerly located at 5846 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, as well as Seniora 3, formerly located at 1864 Route 31, in the Village of Chittenango.

Wady was charged with numerous counts of Grand Larceny and Criminal Tax Fraud for allegedly failing to report and remit more than $162,000 in sales taxes collected from fuel sales made at these businesses between December 2010 and November 2014.  Wady was arraigned on these  charges  and is scheduled to next appear in court on November 12th.  If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in state prison.

Mohammad Wady

Mohammad Wady, 51, Eliana Wady’s husband, residing at the same home address, was also charged with multiple counts of Grand Larceny and Criminal Tax Fraud for his role in the alleged scheme to steal sales taxes.  He is accused of failing to report and remit more than $7,900 of sales taxes collected from fuel sales made at QA Seniora convenience store, formerly Seniora 3 in Chittenango, between December 2013 and November 2014.  He was separately charged and arraigned for the same crimes Eliana Wady is facing with regard to the fuel sales made at the Sanna-Seniora store.  If convicted, Mohammad Wady faces up to 15 years in state prison.

Qusai Abdul Jaber

Qusai Abdul Jaber, 33, is the Wady’s son-in-law.  He resides at 1872 State Route 31 in Chittenango.  He is the current owner of QA Seniora, formerly Seniora 3, and was also charged with Grand Larceny and multiple counts of Criminal Tax Fraud for allegedly failing to report and remit more than $7,900 of sales taxes collected from fuel sales made at QA Seniora between December 2013 and November 2014.  He is scheduled to return to court on December 17th.  If convicted, Jaber faces up to seven years in state prison.

The three defendants were released on their own recognizance.  These cases will be prosecuted by the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation and the three defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Report fraud

You can report tax evasion and fraud online at the Tax Department’s Web site or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential.

New York: Sixth Muslim arrested for providing support to Islamic State terrorists

Azizjon Rakhmatov allegedly provided funding to co-conspirator Akhor Saidakmetov — seen here in a court sketch with Abdurasul Juraboev (l.) and Abror Habibov (r.) — other alleged members of the crew. (Jesse Ward/for New York Daily News)

Azizjon Rakhmatov allegedly provided funding to co-conspirator Akhor Saidakmetov — seen here in a court sketch with Abdurasul Juraboev (l.) and Abror Habibov (r.) — other alleged members of the crew.
(Jesse Ward/for New York Daily News)

Source: Uzbek citizen arrested for New York-based Islamic State plot | Reuters

An Uzbek citizen has become the sixth individual to be charged for participating in a New York-based conspiracy to provide support to the militant group Islamic State, U.S. prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Azizjon Rakhmatov, 28, was arrested earlier in the day and charged in an indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to Islamic State and conspiring to use a firearm.

U.S. authorities have charged at least 85 people since 2014 with crimes related to Islamic State, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq and has claimed responsibility for attacks in Paris in November that killed 130 people.

In court papers, prosecutors said Rakhmatov belonged to a domestic support network for individuals seeking to join Islamic State, donating his money and working to raise funds to help others to travel to Syria to join and fight for the group.

The investigation began when Abdurasul Juraboev, an Uzbek national living in Brooklyn, came to law enforcement’s attention after making a post on an Uzbek-language website that supported Islamic State, prosecutors said.

The probe revealed that Juraboev and a Kazakh national living in New York, Akhror Saidakhmetov, planned to travel to Turkey and then to Syria to join Islamic State, prosecutors said.

Rakhmatov and co-defendants Abror Habibov, Dilkhayot Kasimov and Akmal Zakirov helped fund the efforts of Saidakhmetov, who was arrested in February 2015 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, attempting to fly to Istanbul, prosecutors said.

A lawyer for Rakhmatov could not be immediately identified.

Juraboev pleaded guilty in August to conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State. Charges against Saidakhmetov, Habibov, Kasimov and Zakirov remain pending.

 

New York: ISIS-loving cabbie shouldn’t lose license for bomb threat, judge says

Source: ISIS-loving cabbie shouldn’t lose license for bomb threat, judge says | New York Post

A taxi driver accused of telling a passenger he had a bomb in his car, was thinking of joining ISIS and could have “done a better job” than the Paris terrorists, should be suspended for six months and fined $1,150, an administrative law judge has recommended.

Judge Kevin Casey refused to yank the license of cabbie Hisham Ahmed, as the Taxi & Limousine Commission had requested, after police said he posed “no threat” and after determining his volatile remarks were “out of character” in a 20-year career.hisham-ahmed-isis

Casey said Ahmed deserved a lesser punishment for scaring the daylights out of his passenger, an Australian businessman.

“The complaintant credibly testified that [Ahmed] repeatedly stated that he wanted to blow up the taxi cab,” the judge wrote in a March 16 decision.

“Those remarks were made late at night in the close confines of a taxi, less than two weeks after a horrific attack by terrorists in Paris.”

“[Ahmed] had already alluded to the Paris Attack and his desire to join ISIS,” he added. “Though the police later concluded that [Ahmed] did not pose a threat to the public, that finding did not diminish the distress endured by the complainant as he rode in the cab.”

Ahmed’s lawyer called the recommended penalty excessive.

“The police investigated Mr. Ahmed and found him to be no threat whatsoever,” said attorney Daniel Ackman.

He disputed the judge’s finding that Ahmed had made the remarks and said that even if he had, “the punishment for speaking is excessive.”

The allegedly terror-fueled cab ride began shortly before midnight, in late November, when the businessman hopped in Ahmed’s cab near Third Avenue and East 21st St.

Just two minutes into his ride to his midtown hotel, the businessman testified that Ahmed asked him about the Paris terror attacks.

The passenger recounted that he told Ahmed the attacks were “unfortunate or very upsetting.”

The cabbie responded, he said, by boasting he “could’ve done a better job.”

It was the first in a string of disturbing remarks Ahmed allegedly made during the short ride, including asking his fare how to get an “ISIS visa” and wondering repeatedly if he should “blow the taxi up tonight.”

The ride was a “terrifying” and “terrible” experience, the businessman told the judge, adding the incident “ruined the night” and turned what had been a great trip to New York into a “an absolute disappointment.”

The businessman, who was not identified, called the police and TLC shortly after arriving at his hotel on Lexington Avenue at 37th Street.

Ahmed, who has been a cab driver for two decades, testified that he had no recollection of the businessman or of the alleged incident, and had never told a passenger he wanted to join ISIS or
blow up his taxi.

The judge also found that Ahmed broke TLC rules by smoking in the cab that night.

The TLC doesn’t have to follow the judge’s recommendation.

Agency spokesman Allan Fromberg said TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi would make a decision early next month.

Long Island: Muslim Sentenced To 25 Years For Plotting To Help Al Qaeda

An update we missed last April. Source: Marcos Alonso Zea Sentenced To 25 Years For Plotting To Help Al Qaeda « CBS New York

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island man who was thwarted in his attempt to fly to Yemen to join a Middle Eastern terrorist group and then admitted continuing to plot with others to assist them was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison.

Marcos Alonso Zea, 26, of Brentwood, pleaded guilty in September to attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as Ansar al-Sharia, and obstruction of justice.

Federal prosecutors said Zea flew to London on his way to Yemen in January 2012. He was rejected by customs officials in London and returned to the United States. Once home, prosecutors say, Zea continued participating in the conspiracy. He was arrested in October 2013.

U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Feuerstein rejected an appeal for lenience from Zea’s attorney, Marc Bogotin, who argued that despite the guilty plea, his client had not actually committed any violent acts that would require him to receive the maximum penalty. Had he gone to trial, Zea could have faced up to life in prison. Bogotin suggested that Zea be sentenced to about 10 years in prison.

Feuerstein appeared dubious at that contention, noting that Zea admitted wanting to assist the terror group.

“Why, if not to support them?” she asked. “Then why was he going there?”

Bogotin countered that there “was no evidence that he intended to fight.”

Zea declined to comment when given an opportunity by the judge to make a statement.

Later, the judge told him his sentence should serve as deterrent. “I think there has to be a message to others that this is conduct that is absolutely unacceptable,” she said.

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement that Zea “presents a chilling reminder of the danger presented to the United States by homegrown terrorists. Born, raised, and schooled in the United States, the defendant nevertheless betrayed his country by attempting to join al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, assisting a co-conspirator’s attempt to join that terrorist group, and, after learning he was under investigation, attempting to destroy evidence of his guilt.”

Prosecutors said Zea, who converted to Islam several years before his arrest, gave money to and instructed co-conspirator Justin Kaliebe, also of Brentwood, on how to evade electronic surveillance by law enforcement as he discussed Kaliebe’s plans to wage jihad.

Zea, who worked as a clerk at a home improvement store, was inspired by terrorist propaganda, according to the FBI.

Among Islamic extremist materials found on Zea’s computer were issues of an al Qaeda publication that promotes violent jihad, authorities said. The publication contained articles such as “Which is Better: Martyrdom or Victory?” “Why did I choose al Qaida?” and “What to Expect in Jihad?”

Zea had tried to destroy his computer harddrive, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

Investigators said they also found a video produced by al Qaeda depicting detonation of an explosive device on a vehicle carrying Western military personnel.

Zea also admitted giving money to and instructing Kaliebe on how to elude law enforcement surveillance.

Kaliebe, 20, pleaded guilty in a secret federal court proceeding in 2013 to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. He faces a sentencing hearing next month. His attorney has said Kaliebe was diagnosed with a form of autism as a child and did not understand the gravity of what he was doing.

Both men appear to have been swept up in the New York Police Department’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Muslims throughout the region.

About nine relatives and friends of Zea’s sat stoically in the courtroom during the sentencing and declined to speak with reporters after the proceeding. They waved and blew kisses as he left the courtroom.


It seems the converts get more time than the natural born Muslims. As noted in our post on Zea’s co-conspirator:  New York: Another Muslim Pleads Guilty al Qaeda Support Case

According to court filings, on January 18, 2013, Kaliebe reaffirmed his commitment to jihad, telling an NYPD Intelligence Division undercover officer in a recorded conversation that he understood “there’s a way out, but for me, the only way out is [martyrdom].” Additionally, Kaliebe paid homage to several terrorist leaders, telling the undercover law enforcement officer:

“[My] standard is Abu Dujana. [M]y standard is Abu Mus’ab Al-Zarqawi. My standard is Sheik Anwar Al-Awlaki and Sheik Osama, both who bore witness to the truth for their blood.”

Finally, Kaliebe stated, “Oh Allah, please allow me, please allow me and my brother…to fight jihad in your cause, oh, Allah. Oh, Allah, please give us one of the two victories, victory on the ground or victory through [martyrdom.]”

New York: Muslim teen pleads guilty to non-terrorism charge after plotting to bomb NYC

It’s the latest trend, Muslims caught in terrorist activities but not charged for those terrorist activities. Source: New York teen pleads guilty to non-terrorism charge in Islamic State case | Reuters

A New York City teenager accused last year of helping a college student plan an Islamic State-inspired plot to set off a pressure cooker bomb in the city has pleaded guilty to a non-terrorism charge of conspiring to impede federal officers.

Imran Rabbani, who was 17 when he was arrested in June, pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court in Brooklyn, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said late on Monday.

As part of a plea deal, Rabbani agreed to drop an appeal of a November ruling allowing him to be tried as an adult for a prior charge of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State, said his lawyer, Richard Willstatter.

Rabbani, who faces a maximum of six years in prison, was one of six young [MUSLIM] men in New York and New Jersey charged last year in the investigation of a group of alleged supporters of Islamic State, which has seized control of parts of Iraq and Syria.

More than 80 people have been charged since 2014 in U.S. federal cases related to Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the Brussels bombings in March that killed 31 people and the Paris attacks in November that killed 130.

Authorities previously alleged that Rabbani, now 18, discussed with Munther Omar Saleh, a college student in the borough of Queens, plans to assemble an explosive device to set off in the New York metropolitan area.

In June, law enforcement followed the two men in a surveillance vehicle when Rabbani and Saleh got out of their vehicle and ran at the agents, prompting their arrest at gunpoint, authorities said.

The plea by Rabbani, previously identified only as “John Doe,” regarded only the June incident.

“My client is not a member of ISIS and never claimed to be a member of ISIS,” said Willstatter, using another name for Islamic State.

The other men in related cases in New Jersey have pleaded guilty. Nader Saadeh pleaded guilty in December to conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State.[nL1N13Z213]

Prosecutors said Saadeh traveled to Jordan in May intending to get to either Iraq or Syria to join Islamic State, but was detained by Jordanian authorities.

Prosecutors said Saadeh discussed his plans to join Islamic State with his brother, Alaa Saadeh, as well as Samuel Rahamin Topaz, Saleh and Mummuni.

Alaa Saadeh and Topaz, who prosecutors said also planned to join Islamic State, have also pleaded guilty.

 

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