Terrorism Trials: Civilian Court

A New Al Qaeda Prosecution in New York

By Robert Chesney
Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 2:41 PM

Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun (aka Spin Ghul) is in custody in Brooklyn, facing an array of federal court charges stemming from alleged al Qaeda activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria between 2001 and 2003 (including joining and training with al Qaeda in 2001, attempting to kill American military personnel in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2003, receiving further AQ training in Pakistan in 2003 and then traveling to Africa as part of a plot to attack U.S. diplomatic facilities in Nigeria).  Harun later attempted to make it to Europe by way of Libya, but was arrested there and held in custody until 2011.  He was later arrested en route to Italy  and taken into custody there.  The United States requested extradition, and apparently we have had him in custody pursuant to extradition since at least October 2012.  The just-unsealed indictment is here.

Please note that there is no ground here for criticizing the administration from using the civilian criminal justice system in this case, given that there is no way the Italians would have extradited him to us without a diplomatic assurance that we would not use military detention or a military commission prosecution.