* Updated Jue 21:
A judge has rejected the U.S. extradition request for Asllani. European Union Judge Agnieszka Kolowiecka-Milar ruled that Kosovo does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. For details, click here.
An eighth suspect in a North Carolina terrorism case was arrested in Kosovo, Thursday.
Original post begins here:
The government alleges that several men, headed by ringleader Daniel Patrick Boyd, were planning to attack Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia and arranging travel plans to wage violent jihad abroad. The trial was originally set to begin in this fall, but has been postponed to September 2011 after several defendants requested more time to prepare. The case features an enormous amount of evidence, including 30,000 pages of documents, 750 hours of audio and video clips, and 5 million pieces of potential evidence.
According to the criminal complaint, the recently arrested suspect, Bajram Asllani, participated in the North Carolina-based conspiracy to wage jihad abroad when he "repeatedly tasked another co-conspirator with performing acts in support of the criminal objectives, solicited funds from the conspiracy to carry out concrete plans for the establishment of a base of operations in Kosovo" and "accepted money from the conspiracy for the purpose of enabling him to travel so that he could pursue the conspiracy's objectives." The complaint does not allege Asllani was involved in the plans to attack Quantico.
The complaint details that another defendant, Hysen Sherifi, established a relationship with Asllani when he visited Pristina, Kosovo in July of 2008. Asllani sent radical videos to Sherifi, asking him to translate them into English and distribute them to others. One video showed a suicide bomber attacking a convoy of American vehicles. Asllani also allegedly urged Sherifi to raise money to buy land in Kosovo which would be used as a base of operations for jihad. In April 2009, Sherifi came to the United States and collected $15,000 for the land.
But Sherifi was arrested before he could return and deliver the money to Asllani.
The complaint also mentions that this is not Asllani's first run-in with the law for terrorism related offenses. In 2009, he was convicted in absentia in a Serbian court for planning terrorist related offenses and subsequently sentenced to 8 years confinement.
In response to the arrest, David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security said:
"The facts as alleged in this complaint underscore the connectivity between extremists at home and abroad and the global nature of the terrorist threat we face. At the same time, the arrest of Asllani demonstrates how effective cooperation among international partners serves to address such threats."
The U.S. has submitted a request for extradition to bring Asllani from Kosovo so that he can be tried in Raleigh next year. Despite the nature of the charges and his previous conviction, a judge in Kosovo on Friday released Asllani from custody while he awaits the outcome of the extradition process.
He faces 40 years in prison if convicted.