American charged in plot to join Pakistani jihadist group

An indictment was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn today against Agron Hasbajrami, a legal US resident and Albanian citizen residing in New York city.

Hasbajrami is scheduled to be arraigned later today before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom.

He was arrested at John F Kennedy International Airport here when he arrived to board his flight to Turkey en route to Pakistan, carrying a tent, boots and cold-weather gear.
If convicted of providing material support to terrorists, Hasbajrami faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

"The vigilance of law enforcement has resulted in the capture of another alleged aspiring terrorist bent on traveling overseas for violent jihad," United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said.

"We will spare no effort in stopping terrorists before they strike."
According to the indictment, Hasbajrami plotted to travel to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan to join a radical jihadist fighting group in the country.

He exchanged e-mail messages with a contact in Pakistan who told him that his fighting group was engaged in violent military operations and had killed American troops.
Hasbajrami told his contact 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.

Hasbajrami also sent over USD 1,000 to Pakistan to support his contact’s terrorist efforts.
When asked to collect money from fellow Muslims for the terrorist cause, Hasbajrami allegedly said that fundraising was difficult in New York because his fellow Muslims became apprehensive "when they hear it is for jihad."

In August 2011, Hasbajrami purchased an airline ticket to travel to Turkey en route to Pakistan, but cancelled it.

He then purchased another airline ticket to travel to Turkey on September 6.
A search of Hasbajrami’s residence revealed, among other items, a note reading 'Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time.'

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