Al Qaeda operative guilty in deaths of U.S. servicemen, bomb plot

Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:48pm GMT

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabia-born man was convicted on Thursday of participating in a 2003 attack in Afghanistan that killed two U.S. servicemen and plotting to bomb a U.S. embassy in West Africa, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said.

A jury found Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, known by the nom de guerre Spin Ghul, guilty of all counts after only two hours of deliberations. He faces life in prison at his sentencing.

Harun was not present in court for the trial. Since his extradition from Italy in October 2012, he has insisted he is a "warrior" who should face a military tribunal rather than criminal proceedings.

Before one court appearance in May, Harun struggled with U.S. marshals and ripped off his clothes in an effort to avoid coming to court. U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan has allowed Harun to observe the proceedings from a jail cell.

As of the start of his trial 10 days ago, Harun had not spoken with his court-appointed defense lawyers for two years.

Prosecutors used Harun's own words against him during the trial, playing recordings taken in Italy after his capture in which he described how he dreamed of joining "jihad" as a young boy.

"The defendant embraced terrorism at a young age and made it his life's work," Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Jacobs said in his opening statement.

Harun, who claims Niger citizenship, traveled to Afghanistan to join al Qaeda weeks before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on U.S. soil, prosecutors said.   Continued...

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