Brooklyn Albanian gets 15 years for giving support to terrorists

January 9, 2013 U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
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On Tuesday at Brooklyn Federal Court, New York, Agron Hasbajrami, an Albanian citizen living in Brooklyn, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to terrorists. 

Hasbajrami will be deported from the United States at the conclusion of his sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As he stated during his guilty plea, in early 2011, Hasbajrami exchanged e-mail messages with an individual in Pakistan who said that he was a member of an armed group that had murdered American soldiers.

Hasbajrami sent the individual more than $1,000 to support the jihadist cause. Then, in support of his goal to engage personally in violent jihad, Hasbajrami arranged to meet the individual in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan (the FATA).

In one e-mail message, Hasbajrami stated that he wished to travel abroad to “marry with the girls in paradise,” using jihadist rhetoric to describe his desire to die as a martyr, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In September 2011, he purchased a one-way airplane ticket to travel to the Middle East on his way to the FATA to fight violent jihad. He was arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force at JFK as he embarked on his one-way flight.

A search of Hasbajrami’s residence in Brooklyn revealed, among other items, a note reading “Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time.”

Hasbajrami pleaded guilty in April 2012. United States District Judge John Gleeson imposed sentence on Tuesday.

“Hasbajrami sought to use New York as the launching pad for his terrorist scheme. Hoping to die a martyr to the cause of violent jihad, he will spend 15 years of his remaining days in federal prison. In addition, this sentence should serve as a strong deterrent to anyone who would consider supporting terrorism or launching an operation from the United States,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Loretta Lynch.

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