An alleged veteran of al-Qaeda’s fight against US soldiers in Afghanistan who went on to plot a bomb attack on US diplomatic facilities in Nigeria was charged Wednesday in New York.
Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, also known as “Spin Ghul”, meaning ‘white rose’, was charged by a grand jury with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to bomb American diplomatic facilities, as well as providing material support to al-Qaeda.
Harun was born in Saudi Arabia but claims Nigerian citizenship, according to court documents.
The charges allege that Harun traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 with plans “to fight violent jihad.”
After receiving “military-type training at al-Qaeda training camps,” he allegedly went to war against US-led forces that invaded the country in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“Harun allegedly attempted to kill United States military personnel in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2003,” the Brooklyn federal prosecutor’s office said.
In 2003, Harun allegedly underwent training to attack US diplomatic facilities in Nigeria, where he also conspired to bomb the sites.
After an alleged co-conspirator was arrested in 2005, Harun left Nigeria, spending several years in custody in Libya. He was then released in 2011 after which he attempted to enter Italy aboard a ship filled with refugees.
It was then that he fell into the hands of Western authorities following an altercation with Italian authorities on the refugee ship, the prosecutor’s office said.
“As alleged, Harun not only intended to, but did commit acts of terrorism against Americans. Now he is subject to the American justice system,” FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos said in a statement.
“The defendant was a prototype al-Qaeda operative, trained by al-Qaeda in terrorist tradecraft, deployed to fight American servicemen, and dispatched to commit terrorist attacks throughout the world,” said the chief prosecutor, US Attorney Loretta Lynch.