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Report: Judge denies extradition of Triangle terror suspect

Posted June 21, 2010

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— A European judge has ruled that a man arrested in Kosovo last week will not be extradited to the U.S. to face charges that he aided a suspected terrorism ring in the Triangle.

Bajram Asllani, 29, an ethnic Albanian and native of Mitrovico, Kosovo, was convicted of terrorism in Serbia and was under surveillance in his home country when he was arrested Thursday following an extradition request from the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He faces charges of providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons.

Judge Agnieszka Kolowiecka-Milar of the European Union Rule of Law Mission denied the extradition request, ruling that Kosovo doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S., according to Bulgaria-based FAN TV. Prosecutors were relying on a 2001 agreement between the U.S. and Serbia, but Kosovo has since declared its independence and isn't bound by that agreement, the judge ruled.

Asllani was released from detention on Friday with the promise to report to Kosovo police twice a week, Reuters reported. Asllani told a Kosovo news service that he wanted to be extradited to the U.S.

"The politics are complicated. A lot of people are paying attention to it," said Robert Jenkins, director of the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "I think the key is that, from a legal standpoint, the waters are kind of muddied. Who has jurisdiction? It won't be simple or smooth which one has priority."

An April 19 criminal complaint unsealed last week alleges that Asllani, who also goes by Ebu Hattab, conspired with eight men charged last July with plotting terrorist attacks overseas and securing weapons and training in North Carolina.

Seven suspects – Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, his sons, Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya "Zak" Boyd, 20, and Hysen Sherifi, 24, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22, Ziyad Yaghi, 21, and Anes Subasic, 33 – are being held in the U.S. An eighth suspect, Jude Kenan Mohammad, 20, is believed to be in Pakistan.

Daniel Boyd and Sherifi are also charged with planning an attack on the Marine base in Quantico, Va.

The criminal complaint alleges that Asllani was in contact with the Triangle-area suspects, asked them for money and helped them travel with the purpose of establishing "a base of operations in Kosovo for the purpose of waging violent jihad."

Asllani denied the allegations in an interview with FAN TV.

"I never distribute any material related to terrorism, because I am a man that do not support terrorism," he said. "Never in my life I have killed someone. You can ask any citizen of Mitrovica or through all Kosovo. I can answer that with my life."

Court documents say that the FBI and state authorities had been monitoring the Triangle-area suspects since 2006 as they looked for a way to attack non-Muslims and perhaps also Muslims of whom they didn't approve. At various times, the documents say, Daniel Boyd and Sherifi mentioned dying as a suicide bomber in Afghanistan or fighting in Iraq, Syria, Palestine or Chechnya.

Sherifi became acquainted with Asllani during a July 2008 trip to Pristinia, Kosovo, documents say. Investigators believe that Asllani recruited Sherifi to help him establish a community in Kosovo in order to launch attacks in the region.

"They could use such a town as a safe haven for their families and to store weapons," the criminal complaint says.

Once he returned to the U.S. in 2009, Sherifi is accused of getting the Boyds' help to raise $15,000 intended for Asllani. Documents say that Sherifi also practiced military tactics with the father and son, and Daniel Boyd told him he intended his weapons to be used in Kosovo and the U.S.

Bajram Asllani, Triangle terror suspect Kosovo man denies links to Triangle terror suspects

"If I will be someone to asked or collect the funds, it will be for my home," Asllani told FAN TV. "I will never ask for funds for spending for something that is nothing."

Daniel Boyd said he wanted for himself and his sons to go with Sherifi to Kosovo, and Sherifi sent money to Asllani for travel documents, the criminal complaint says. The North Carolina men were arrested before they could leave.

The criminal complaint also alleges that Asllani sent Sherifi recruitment documents. One such document cited was a video of a suicide bomber attacking a U.S. convoy of vehicles.

U.S. authorities said that Asllani was placed under house arrest by Kosovo law enforcement in 2007 and then kept under surveillance. In September 2009, a Serbian court convicted him in abstentia on terror-related charges and sentenced him to eight years in prison.

Asllani maintained in the interview that Serbia convicted him without evidence and that his name has been manipulated by others.

The U.S. Justice Department, State Department and government of Kosovo assisted the investigation by the FBI and North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center. A judge with the European Union's Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo approved the arrest of Asllani and a search of his home.

The trial for Sherifi, Daniel Boyd and the other Triangle-area suspects was recently delayed until September 2011 as lawyers comb through 750 hours of FBI recordings, the records on two dozen computers and 29,000 pages.

34 Comments

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  • badge2133 Jun 21, 4:31 p.m.

    Bill0,

    Clearly you have been getting all of your information about Kosovo from the Western media. Those refugees that fled Kosovo did so AFTER the NATO bombing campaign began. Furthermore, there was no campaign of genocide by the Milosevic regime. The KLA was a terrorist organization as noted by our own government. They were and are thugs, killers, drug dealers, and terrorists. I have worked in Kosovo for the past several years and can tell you we supported the wrong side. Yes, it is regrettable that there were civilian casualties by some paramilitary units, but the was was started by and inflamed by ethnic Albanian terrorists.

    These same thugs have begun to start the same nonsense in Macedonia. I suggest you diversify your source of news information and stop believing all this propaganda about a so-called humanitarian crisis.

  • nicklebon Jun 21, 3:47 p.m.

    Quote If milosevic was allowed to continue, hundreds of thousands of people would have died. End Quote

    Given the distribution of power most would have been separatists or their supporters within the conflict area. The key being not Americans. not here. Now we have to deal these same separatists helping would be separatists kill Americans here. Actions have consequences and helping establish muslim states in Europe is causing and will continue to cause problems here. The Serbs knew exactly how to deal with the problem of separatists.

  • wildcat Jun 21, 3:19 p.m.

    Good call judge.

  • HeBlessesMe Jun 21, 2:48 p.m.

    I just want to point out one thing; many of the terrorists that have trained and then targeted the US were here legally to obtain the training. Many of them came on school and work Visas and would not have been deported. The men that were arrested here in NC are Americans, so this situation needs to be separated from illegal immigration since they are not the same issue.

  • bill0 Jun 21, 2:34 p.m.

    "Had the US never entered that conflict Serbia would have resolved it and the world would be better off."

    That has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read. A million people where driven from their homes and over 10,000 were killed. There was an active policy of state sponsored genocide and the leaders were all tried for war crimes. If milosevic was allowed to continue, hundreds of thousands of people would have died.

    As for extradition, that is a formal legal procedure. He'll end up here, but you can't extradite someone without an extradition treaty. If he really wants his day in court, all he has to do is drive to any border and that nation will gladly send him here.

    As for the overall charges, the accusations against the NC folks were incredibly serious, but the proof was pretty skimpy - at least the stuff that was released. Based on some of the posts here, it seems unlikely that lack of evidence will matter at a trial.

  • WRALblows Jun 21, 2:31 p.m.

    Judge Agnieszka Kolowiecka-Milar

    Well, there you go.

  • RedStatesManWatts Jun 21, 1:50 p.m.

    jackieflash42----WELL SAID! You are 100% correct. The government will not even protect one of its' states (Arizona) so now it is up to us to protect each other and we will.

  • jet2rdu Jun 21, 1:43 p.m.

    NC should send a tough, no nonsense, high profile government official to travel to Kosovo and convince their court to extradite Bajram to the US. Someone to tell them that “we mean business”. Someone not afraid of appearing on camera and speaking his mind.

  • bluetarheel21 Jun 21, 1:28 p.m.

    They dont wanna send him over here cause they know he'll get the gas chamber if convicted ....

  • FragmentFour Jun 21, 1:15 p.m.

    It would seem that if Kosovo is an independent nation, the U.S. needs to start making extradition treaties - and other agreements - with it. 2001 was quite a while ago.

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