Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

A man in New York has been convicted of trying to help the Taliban fight US forces.

Delowar Mohammed Hossain, 36, was convicted late Friday in Manhattan federal court on charges of trying to provide material support to terrorism and trying to contribute funds, goods and services to the Taliban.

Authorities arrested Hossain in 2019 at Kennedy Airport and interrupted his plan to travel to Afghanistan. Hossain was released on parole in July 2020.

Following the jury’s verdict in a one – week trial, sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 12 by U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein.

Prior to the trial, the judge issued a request to the government to take steps to protect the identity of witnesses, including a New York police officer who corresponded with Hossain in secret before his arrest.

According to court documents, in 2018, Hossain began expressing interest in joining the Taliban and sought to recruit someone to do the same, but the person turned out to be a government informant. The court papers said he told the informant, “I want to kill some kufari (non-believers) before I die.”

Prosecutors said his preparations included the purchase of equipment such as walkie-talkies and trekking equipment. He instructed the informant to save enough money “to buy some weapons” when they reached Afghanistan, they added.

The case follows a series of similar arrests of self-radicalized terror suspects for charges they tried to join or support the Islamic State group by making contacts on social media.

A lawyer for Hossain did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Saturday.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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