His prison sentence complete, a Pakistani man who plotted a series of prospective terrorist attacks in South Florida has been moved from a federal penitentiary to the custody of U.S. immigration officials pending deportation from the United States.
Imran Mandhai lived in Broward County Florida from the late 1990s into the early 2000s. He attended the Darul Uloom Institute mosque in Pembroke Pines, the same mosque where al-Qaida notable and Mandhai associate Adnan el-Shukrijumah sought spiritual solace. Mandhai and codefendant Shueyb Mosaa Jokhan were investigated by the Miami Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
The two men conspired to commit jihad in South Florida by blowing up power stations, synagogues and a National Guard armory. The JTTF introduced an undercover informant to the two wannabe jihadis and foiled their plans.
Mandhai initially was arrested by special agents of what was then the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) assigned to the JTTF in February of 2002 on terrorism-related deportation charges. Subsequently, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami indicted Mandhai and Jokhan and the two ultimately pleaded guilty to conspiracy to destroy property affecting interstate commerce. Mandhai was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
The court further ordered that Mandhai would be surrendered to federal immigration authorities upon completion of his prison sentence.
That happened Monday, when Mandhai completed his term of incarceration with the Bureau of Prisons and was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for removal (deportation) proceedings. A spokeswoman for ICE confirmed Mandhai's custody status with the agency with the following statement, "Imran Farooq Mandhai was transferred to ICE custody March 9, 2015 from the Bureau of Prisons after completing his federal prison sentence. He will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings."
As an alien convicted of a federal terrorism-related felony, Mandhai is subject to mandatory detention during those removal proceedings and likely would be ineligible for any form of relief from deportation, said Dan Vara, the former Chief Counsel for INS and ICE in Miami and Orlando who prosecuted Mandhai in the initial deportation case in 2002.