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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Taliban Fighter Indicted|on Terror Charges in VA

(CN) - Irek Ilgiz Hamidullin, a Russian member of the Taliban, was indicted on multiple terrorism charges Tuesday arising from his alleged participation in an attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan in November 2009.

Hamidullin appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Novak this morning. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts, including conspiring to provide and providing material support to terrorists; conspiring and attempting to destroy an aircraft of the armed forces of the United States; conspiring and attempting to murder a national of the United States; and other offenses.

According to prosecutors, Hamidullin was a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who stayed on and eventually joined the Taliban. He was captured in 2009 after an attack on U.S. soldiers and Afghan border police in Khowst Province.

Court documents say Hamidullin commanded three groups of insurgents that attacked Afghan Border Police at Camp Leyza. During that attack, he directed men armed with machine guns to fire at helicopters carrying U.S. forces.

The documents say Hamidullin later fired on U.S. troops and Afghan police himself after the main fighting had wound down.

Prior to being brought to the U.S. for trial, Hamidullin was held at the Parwan detention facility at Bagram airfield, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

In court on Tuesday, Hamidullin said little. Judge Novak advised him of his rights and appointed public defender Robert Wagner and attorney Claire Cardwell to represent him.

Hamidullin is scheduled to be formally arraigned on the 12 charges before U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson on Friday morning.

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