Svenske terroristen Mirsad Bektasevics kontakt i USA har befunnits skyldig till terroristbrott. På onsdagen fälldes den amerikanske medborgaren Ehsanul Islam Sadequee (som nämnts här tidigare) av en federal jury i Atlanta, Georgia, för att ha understött terroriströrelser och planlagt våldsdåd utomlands.
Under rättegången visade åklagaren hur Sadequee etablerat kontakt med svenske Mirsad Bektasevic över internet, och att de tillsammans med några andra grundat "Al Qaida i Norra Europa" - samt att Sadequee även försökt få visum för att kunna förflytta sin verksamhet hit till Sverige.
Ur åklagarens sammanfattning av rättegången, via The Daily Citizen:
According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the evidence presented during the trial, which began on August 3, 2009: SADEQUEE was born in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1986. He attended school in the United States, Canada, and Bangladesh. In December 2001, while living in Bangladesh, he sent an email seeking to join the Taliban, to help them in their fight against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Several years later, in late 2004 and early 2005, SADEQUEE, having returned to the United States to his family home in Roswell, entered an illegal agreement - a conspiracy -- with others to provide material support to terrorists engaged in violent jihad.Sadequee skötte själv sitt försvar, vilket tycks ha gått sådär.
The evidence indicated that the material support consisted of (1) SADEQUEE; his co-defendant, Syed Haris Ahmed, who was convicted after a bench trial in June 2009; and other individuals who intended to provide themselves as personnel to engage in violent jihad abroad and in the U.S., and (2) property, namely, short videos of symbolic and infrastructure targets for potential terrorist attacks in the Washington, D.C., area, including the United States Capitol, the World Bank, the Masonic Temple, and a fuel tank farm -- all of which were taken by SADEQUEE and Syed Haris Ahmed to be sent to "the jihadi brothers" abroad.
At trial the government presented evidence that SADEQUEE and his co-conspirators used the internet to develop relationships and maintain contact with each other and with other supporters of violent jihad in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Bosnia, and elsewhere. In support of the conspiracy, in March 2005 SADEQUEE traveled with Syed Haris Ahmed to Toronto, Canada, to meet with other co-conspirators, including Fahim Ahmed, one of the "Toronto 18" suspects now awaiting a terrorism trial in Canada. While in Canada, SADEQUEE and his co-conspirators discussed their plans to travel to Pakistan in an effort to attend a paramilitary training camp operated by a terrorist organization, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET), as preparation for engaging in violent jihad abroad or in the United States. They also discussed potential targets for terrorist attacks in the United States.
In April 2005, SADEQUEE and Syed Haris Ahmed drove to the Washington, D.C., area to take the casing videos, which the government's evidence showed they made to establish their credentials with other violent jihad supporters as well as for use in violent jihad propaganda and planning. SADEQUEE later sent several of the video clips to Younis Tsouli, a/k/a "Irhabi007" (Arabic for "Terrorist 007"), a propagandist and recruiter for the terrorist organization Al Qaeda in Iraq, and to Aabid Hussein Khan, a/k/a "Abu Umar," a facilitator for the Pakistan-based terrorist organizations LET and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM). Both Tsouli and Khan have since been convicted of terrorism-related offenses in the United Kingdom and are imprisoned there.
During the trial, the government's evidence showed that SADEQUEE and Khan, using a members-only violent jihadist web forum known as At-Tibyan Publications, also tried to recruit at least two other individuals to participate in violent jihad. One, a self-identified 17-year-old American convert, was praised by SADEQUEE for his "capacity of fulfilling [his] largest obligations in [his] native land."
The government also presented evidence at trial that in July 2005, Syed Haris Ahmed traveled from Atlanta to Pakistan in an attempt to enter a training camp and then engage in violent jihad. While in Pakistan, Syed Haris Ahmed met with Aabid Hussein Khan and the two discussed Ahmed's intention of joining a camp. However, Ahmed's family and others convinced him to postpone that effort. The day before Syed Haris Ahmed returned to Atlanta, SADEQUEE departed Atlanta for Bangladesh, carrying with him, hidden in the lining of his suitcase, an encrypted CD; a map of Washington, D.C., that included all of the targets he and Syed Haris Ahmed had cased; and a scrap of paper with Khan's mobile phone number in Pakistan.
Once in Bangladesh, SADEQUEE began to conspire more closely with Younis Tsouli and Mirsad Bektasevic, a Swedish national of Serbian origins. Specifically, Tsouli, Bektasevic, SADEQUEE and others formed a violent jihadist organization known as "Al Qaeda in Northern Europe." The group was to be based in Sweden and focus on terrorist attacks in Europe. The evidence at trial showed that in October 2005, SADEQUEE sought a visa that would allow him to relocate from Bangladesh to Sweden. Bektasevic was arrested in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on October 19, 2005. He and a co-conspirator were found in possession of over 20 pounds of plastic explosives, a suicide belt containing plastic explosives and a detonator, and a firearm with a silencer. Bektasevic also had in his pocket a cassette containing a video demonstrating how to make detonators; displaying an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons, grenades, explosives, and other arms, and announcing they were for use in Europe; and depicting Bektasevic and others placing a grenade booby trap in a forest near Sarajevo. SADEQUEE had been in electronic and telephonic contact with Bektasevic as recently as three days before Bektasevic's arrest, discussing the silencer and explosives Bektasevic had acquired for the group and the making of Bektasevic's video. Bektasevic has since been convicted of terrorism offenses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is imprisoned there.
During the trial, he acted as his own lawyer, wearing a Muslim skullcap over his curly hair and engaging witnesses in occasionally odd exchanges about Superman and the antichrist.
In addition to the evidence against him, the 23-year-old's performance as his own lawyer in court may have helped seal his fate, said Evan Kohlmann, an expert witness for the prosecution. Sadequee discussed the fine points of holy war and other Islamic concepts with Kohlmann during a lengthy cross-examination.
Sadequee seemed eager to discuss his radical ideas and apparently did not realize that a jury was unlikely to sympathize, said Kohlmann, who also worked as a consultant to investigators in the British trials. "I think he believed he could express these ideas eloquently enough that an American jury could see the light," Kohlmann said. "But I don't think there was a light to be seen. He may have convicted himself."