Al Qaeda operative sentenced to life in prison
(CNN) — Al Qaeda operative Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun was sentenced to life in prison on Friday in New York City.
He was convicted in US District Court in March 2017 for participating in lethal attacks against US and coalition troops in Afghanistan and for attempting to bomb the US Embassy in Nigeria.
He’d been charged with multiple terrorism offenses, including conspiracy to murder American military personnel and providing material support to al Qaeda.
“With the sentence handed down today, our justice system has once again held accountable an al-Qaeda operative for his terrorist activities, ensuring that he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” acting Assistant Attorney General O’Callaghan said, according to a Justice Department news release.
The government painted a picture of Harun as a “dedicated and early soldier of bin Laden’s al Qaeda,” according to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, saying he traveled from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks and trained with al Qaeda.
Harun was seriously injured in an April 2003 machine gun and grenade ambush attack at a US military base in Afghanistan, that killed Pfc. Jerod Dennis, 19, of Oklahoma, and Airman 1st Class Raymond Losano, 24, of Arizona, authorities said.
Harun escaped across the border into Pakistan. US soldiers recovered a small brown Quran near the scene of firefight and the FBI found Harun’s fingerprints on it, the government said.
Harun was sent to Nigeria with orders to detonate a bomb at the US Embassy, but the plan fell apart, the government said. He fled to Libya, where he was jailed from 2005 to 2011, the government said in a news release.
In June 2011, Harun was taken into custody by Italian authorities on a ship carrying 1,200 North African refugees from an island on the Mediterranean Sea to the Italian mainland, court document said.
Harun allegedly told Italian authorities that he was an al Qaeda member and had sought to enter Europe in 2005 to carry out attacks, the federal government said.
In September 2012, Italian authorities handed Harun over to US authorities after the US government agreed not to seek the death penalty.