Friday, January 23, 2015

Alleged Terrorist, Charged With Murder Of Five American Soldiers, Extradited To United States

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Commissioner William J. Bratton of the New York City Police Department announced that tomorrow, Jan. 24, 2015, Faruq Khalil Muhammed ‘Isa, aka “Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa,” “Sayfildin Tahir Sharif,” and “Tahir Sharif Sayfildin,” will have his initial appearance at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, on charges of conspiring to kill Americans abroad; and providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy to kill Americans abroad.  ‘Isa was extradited to the United States from Canada.

According to court documents, the defendant is charged in connection with his support for a multinational terrorist network that conducted multiple suicide bombings in Iraq.  According to the complaint, filed on Jan. 14, 2011, in the Eastern District of New York, the defendant assisted in orchestrating an attack on the United States Military’s Forward Operating Base Marez (FOB Marez) in Mosul, Iraq, on April 10, 2009.  A truck laden with explosives drove to the gate of FOB Marez and exchanged fire with Iraqi police officers guarding the base and then with an American convoy exiting the base.  The truck detonated alongside the last vehicle in the U.S. convoy, leaving a 60-foot crater in the ground. 

Five American soldiers were killed in the blast.  They are:  Staff Sergeant Gary L. Woods, 24, of Lebanon Junction, Kentucky; Sergeant First Class Bryan E. Hall, 32, of Elk Grove, California; Sergeant Edward W. Forrest Jr., 25, of St. Louis, Missouri; Corporal Jason G. Pautsch, 20, of Davenport, Iowa; and Army Private First Class Bryce E. Gaultier, 22, from Cyprus, California.

“Today’s extradition demonstrates to those who orchestrate violence against our citizens and our soldiers that there is no corner of the globe from which they can hide from the long reach of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Lynch.  “We will continue to use every available means to bring to justice those who are responsible for the deaths of American servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price in their defense of this nation.”

“Faruq Khalil Muhammed ‘Isa is alleged to have helped orchestrate an attack that killed five U.S.  soldiers at the Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq, in 2009,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “The families of these five Americans and all who have lost loved-ones to acts of terrorism should know that we will never cease seeking to hold terrorists accountable for their acts.  I want to thank the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who are responsible for this matter.”

“As alleged, Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa was involved in the most callous act: a suicide bombing murdering U.S. soldiers in Iraq,” said Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos.  “Our memory is long, and our reach is longer.  Today we hope to bring some measure of justice to the families of those five servicemen who sacrificed their lives in defense of this nation.”

“I want to commend the United States Attorney Loretta Lynch and her team for working closely with the NYPD and the FBI to extradite this individual who is allegedly responsible for the death of soldiers sworn to protect and serve,” said Commissioner Bratton.  “We hope today’s extradition will bring some closure to the families.”

The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zainab Ahmad, Alexander Solomon and Peter Baldwin, with assistance provided by the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section and Office of International Affairs.  The department extends its grateful appreciation to the Canadian government for its assistance and cooperation in the extradition.

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