Malian national indicted in Brooklyn federal court for murder of U.S. diplomat

Defendant accused of killing Defense Dept. employee, wounding U.S. Marine

September 20, 2013 U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of NY
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An indictment was unsealed Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court charging Alhassane Ould Mohamed, 42, also known as “Cheibani,” a Malian citizen, with the murder and attempted murder of United States Embassy personnel stationed in Niamey, Niger in December 2000.   

In addition, a reward of $20,000 was announced for information that leads to the defendant’s capture.

According to the indictment, in the early morning hours of Dec. 23, 2000, the defendant and a co-conspirator accosted a group of employees of the United States Embassy in Niger as they left a restaurant in Niamey, Niger.  Carrying a pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle, the two men approached Department of Defense official William Bultemeier as he was about to enter his car, which bore diplomatic license plates clearly indicating that it belonged to the United States Embassy.  The defendant demanded that Bultemeier turn over the keys to the diplomatic vehicle and used the pistol to shoot Bultemeier, according to the charges.  

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Staff Sgt. Christopher McNeely, the Marine detachment commander for the U.S. Embassy in Niger at the time, ran to Bultemeier’s aid.  The defendant’s co-conspirator then fired his AK-47 at Bultemeier and McNeely, hitting them both.  After rifling through Bultemeier’s pockets to get the car keys, the defendant and his fellow assailant drove away in the vehicle, according to the indictment.

Bultemeier died of the injuries inflicted by the gunshot wounds. McNeely survived the shooting and later retired from the Marine Corps.

“U.S. diplomat William Bultemeier lost his life while representing his country overseas, and U.S. Marine Christopher McNeely was gravely wounded trying to protect him, all during the brazen armed carjacking allegedly perpetrated by the defendant and his confederate,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Loretta Lynch. “The sacrifice of Mr. Bultemeier and the courage of Staff Sergeant McNeely in service to their country will not be forgotten.”

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