NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A U.S. citizen was charged in Brooklyn Thursday with conspiring to provide support to terrorists who sought to kill Americans abroad.
Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and made his in initial appearance in U.S. District Court Thursday afternoon. He was deported from Pakistan to the U.S. and arrested after a warrant was issued, federal prosecutors said.
Prosecutors alleged around 2007, Farekh – along with another man named Ferid Imam, and a third co-conspirator went from Canada to Pakistan with an agenda of fighting American forces.
They did not tell their families what they were doing, but called a friend in Canada to tell them they should not expect to hear from them again because they planned to become martyrs, prosecutors alleged.
Around September 2008, Imam allegedly provided weapons and other military-style training at an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan to three people – Najibullah Zazi, Zarein Ahmedzay, and Adis Medunjanin – who planned to come to the U.S. and conduct a suicide attack in the New York City subway system, prosecutors said.
Zazi and Ahmedzay pleaded guilty and have yet to be sentenced, while Medunjanin was convicted at trial and is serving a life prison sentence.
Imam has also been indicted in the alleged plot, prosecutors said.
“Today’s arrest demonstrates that there is no escape from the long reach of our law for American citizens who seek to do harm to our country on behalf of violent terrorists,” stated Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. “We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to bring such individuals to justice.”
“The NYPD will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and arrest individuals who choose to work alongside terrorist organizations and threaten the lives of Americans. We applaud the investigators and prosecutors whose efforts led to this arrest,” added Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
If convicted, Farekh could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
The charges against Farekh were announced on the same day as two Queens women were arrested in connection with a separate alleged terror plot.
Former roommates Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, conspired to prepare an explosive device they planned to detonate in a terror attack in the U.S., according to court documents.
They allegedly had several propane tanks and instructions on how to turn them into propane devices.