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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Pakistani Convicted for Supporting Terrorism

BROOKLYN (CN) - A Pakistani national who planned to bomb a busy England pedestrian mall was convicted Wednesday of supporting al-Qaida.

It took a federal jury one day to convict Abid Naseer, 28, after a two-week trial in which Naseer represented himself.

The Pakistani national who lived in Brooklyn was convicted of providing material support to al-Qaida.

He and three others were just days away from executing a three-pronged attack that included the New York City subway system, the Manchester shopping mall and a newspaper office in Copenhagen.

"This al-Qaeda plot was intended by the group's leaders to send a message to the United States and its allies," said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. "Today's verdict sends an even more powerful message in response: the United States will stop at nothing in order to hold those who plot to kill and maim in the name of religion accountable for their grievous crimes."

Prosecutors said at trial that Naseer and the others set up several chat-room accounts using women's names and talked in code to plan the attacks for al-Qaida.

When cross-examined by prosecutors, Naseer maintained his innocence and swore that he did not have contempt for Western countries.

"Naseer knowingly and willingly conspired with others to carry out a destructive plot on behalf of al-Qaeda," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Rodriquez. "The wheels were set in motion, and he and his accomplices were prepared to execute their plan."

Naseer went to the UK in 2006 to prepare for the attack, using a student visa to enroll in a university but dropped out a week later.

Naseer was arrested in the UK in 2009, and extradited to the United States two years later. A raid of his apartment turned up several jihadi nasheeds, or anthems, calling for "death in large numbers."

Naseer faces up to life in prison when sentenced later by U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.

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