Abid Naseer Receives 40-Year Sentence for Bomb Plot

25 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Abid Naseer Receives 40-Year Sentence for Bomb Plot.

A federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Abid Naseer in March following a trial that featured spies in disguise, evidence from the raid on Usama bin Laden’s compound and the defendant’s questioning of an admitted co-conspirator. NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Pakistani man was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Tuesday for plotting to bomb a shopping centre in England as part of an al Qaeda plan for attacks in Europe and the United States. Naseer was first arrested in 2009 in Great Britain on charges he was part of a terror cell plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Manchester, England.

Abid Naseer, 29, had faced up to life in prison following his conviction by a U.S. jury in March on charges including that he provided material support to the Islamic militant group. “I know you’re not what I’d say for any lack of a better word a ‘typical’ criminal. The Manchester Evening News understands his attack was thwarted after Government spying station GCHQ intercepted coded emails between Naseer and senior Al Qaeda commanders which referred to an imminent ‘wedding’, or terror strike. The charges were dropped after a British court found there wasn’t enough evidence, but U.S. prosecutors later named him in an indictment alleging a broader conspiracy that included the subway plot.

A team of around 300 counter terrorism officers had already been investigating Naseer but the ‘game changing’ wedding email prompted an urgent re-think. The government alleged Naseer had received bomb-making instructions in Pakistan in 2008, and assistant US attorney Zainab Ahmed told jurors the arrest of Naseer and other members of his cell averted mass murder. Following his sentence, police revealed his plot involved blowing up a car that was to be parked just 100 metres from the spot where the IRA detonated a lorry bomb in 1996. Five British secret agents also testified wearing disguises – one wore a fake beard and thick black glasses – and the case marked the first time documents recovered in the 2009 navy Seal raid against Osama bin Laden’s compound were used as trial evidence. Naseer insisted the emails consisted only of harmless banter about looking for a potential bride after going to England to take computer science classes.

But Dearie ultimately decided he would toss Naseer a life saver — a determinate sentence that would give him some light at the end of the prison tunnel even though he will be in his early 60s when he finishes the term. Naseer said he hopes to return to the United Kingdom someday – not his native Pakistan – and gave a shoutout to his favorite soccer team Manchester City.

Naseer’s court-appointed legal adviser, said. “He’s always been courteous and respectful,” Judge Dearie replied. “When he decided to represent himself I anticipated a very different situation than what actually occurred. He abided by the court’s orders and instructions.” Arguing for a life sentence, Zainab Ahmad, an assistant United States attorney, said the fact that Mr. Zazi testified that after receiving explosives training in Pakistan, he received instructions from the same al-Qaida contact as Naseer and was told to use “marriage” and “wedding” as code for attacks.

Naseer was stopped from carrying out an attack should not matter. “It is incumbent upon us to do the difficult and unpleasant task of imagining what would have happened had the defendant gone unstopped,” she said. “The defendant has given us no reason to hope. There is nothing in the record to suggest that he is any less committed to violence in the name of religion than he was on the day he was arrested.” Mr.

One referred to sending “brothers” to New York and Britain and to arrests made there – a passage prosecutors suggested was a reference to Naseer. Naseer told the judge Tuesday that he was committed to “learning and education.” He wants to attain a master’s degree in computing, start a family, and study human physiology and sports science, he said. “Dear judge, it is true I have spent most of my life in search of studies and not extremism and fundamentalism,” he said. “I’m not, nor have I been, a career criminal.”

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