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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Accused Terror Propagandist Brought to U.S.

MANHATTAN (CN) - A Vietnamese national living in the United Kingdom will become the next alleged al-Qaida propagandist to face trial in New York, federal prosecutors revealed on Tuesday.

The help of a cooperating witness has been critical to the apprehension of Minh Quang Pham, a 32-year-old Vietnamese national, according to a statement by the Justice Department.

Prosecutors say the witness met Pham in Yemen, the "principle base of operations" for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, in March and April 2011 at the group's safe houses.

Before arriving in Yemen in December 2010, Pham told his wife that he would be in Ireland, according to the Justice Department statement.

Going by the name "Amin" in Yemen, Pham allegedly helped two U.S. citizens disseminate al-Qaida's magazine Inspire.

While the indictment disguises the names of both of those U.S. citizens, it describes one as the author of "I Am Proud to Be a Traitor to America," an article attributed to be Pakistani-American Samir Khan.

Khan died in a drone strike with Colorado-born militant Anwar al-Awlaki, who was also associated with Inspire magazine.

The government's cooperating witness told authorities that Pham "almost always" carried a Kalashnikov assault rifle, and that he exchanged various electronic documents with Pham in Yemen.

When Pham returned to the United Kingdom on July 27, 2011, a search of him by authorities at Heathrow International Airport allegedly produced a live round of .762 caliber armor-piercing ammunition, which is consistent with Kalashnikov ammunition.

Computer files on Pham's devices also matched those of the cooperating witness, prosecutors say.

The Southern District of New York had Pham arrested in the UK on June 29, 2012, but Pham's extradition did not go through until Tuesday.

Pham faces life in prison if convicted of five terrorism-related offenses.

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