KSM to be Tried in New Haven?

February 2, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Speculation is swirling around DC upon cable news announcements that various smaller East Coast cities are being considered as potential sites for the trial of KSM, now that opinion seems to have turned against New York City, especially in the wake of Mayor Bloomberg's solid opposition.

If reports coming out of the Connecticut Law Tribune [see, http://www.ctlawtribune.com/getarticle.aspx?ID=36237] are correct, New Haven, Connecticut is in the running, for this unenviable undertaking.

" Cable News Network and other media outlets reported Monday that no final decision has been made on moving the trial out of New York City. But Fox News and the New York Post are among those that have mentioned Otisville, N.Y. (home to a federal prison that could house the suspects during a trial), White Plains, N.Y., and New Haven as possible sites. Neither organization provided a specific source for its information, other than someone inside the White House."

All of this is further evidence of disarray within DOJ and the WH

In an exclusive interview with the Law Tribune, an attorney for Abu-Jihadd suggested that New Haven was particularly attractive from the standpoint of security, having professionally dealt with maintaining public safety during the trial of his client.

The case of Hassan Abu-Jihaad is unique in the annals of the U.S. Navy, where he served as a signalman aboard the USS Benfold, an Arleigh Burke class destroyer serving in the Gulf during 2001.

The DOJ statement upon Jihaad's conviction follows: [see, http://newhaven.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/2008/abujihaad030508.htm]

"Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and other federal officials today announced that a federal jury in New Haven, Connecticut, has found Hassan Abu-Jihaad, formerly known as Paul R. Hall, 32, of Phoenix, Arizona, guilty of providing material support of terrorism and disclosing previously classified information relating to the national defense. The verdict was returned this afternoon. The trial before United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz began on February 25.

We are very pleased with today's verdict, and I am proud of the outstanding work of the agents, analysts and prosecutors involved," stated U.S. Attorney O'Connor. "This verdict demonstrates loudly and clearly that we will seek to hold accountable anyone responsible for providing classified information to those who intend to use it in a manner against our national interests.

According to the evidence provided at trial, in 2001, four or five months after the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, Abu-Jihaad provided classified information regarding the movements of a United States Navy battle group, which was charged with enforcing sanctions against the Taliban and engaging in missions against Al Qaeda, to Azzam Publications, a London-based organization that is alleged to have provided material support and resources to persons engaged in acts of terrorism through the creation and use of various internet web sites, e-mail communications, and other means, including www.azzam.com. Between approximately February 2000 and the end of 2001, the web site www.azzam.com was hosted on the computer web servers of a web hosting company located in Trumbull, Connecticut. At the time the classified information was disclosed to Azzam Publications, Abu-Jihaad was an enlistee in the United States Navy on active duty in the Middle East and was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Benfold, one of the ships in the battle group whose movements were disclosed.

In the post 9/11 world, our challenge is to identify, investigate and apprehend those who would compromise our national security in the name of violent jihadism," said Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "Today's verdict demonstrates that our agents and prosecutors met that challenge with dedication and professionalism. We are all very proud of their efforts.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that, in December 2003, British law enforcement officers recovered a computer floppy disk in a residence of one of the operators of Azzam Publications. Forensic analysis of the disk disclosed a password-protected Microsoft Word document setting forth previously classified information regarding the upcoming movements of a U.S. Naval battle group as it was to transit from San Diego to its deployment in the Persian Gulf in 2001. The document went on to discuss the battle group's perceived vulnerability to terrorist attack.

We are extremely gratified with the jury's guilty verdict today," said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "The evidence in this case showed that Hassan Abu-Jihaad provided classified information to terrorists which could have been used to kill American sailors. Revealing information about U.S. troop movements is clearly a terrible threat to our national security and ICE and our law enforcement partners will use all resources to protect American lives from terrorist organizations.

According to the evidence at trial, subsequent investigation uncovered several email exchanges from late 2000 to late 2001 between members of Azzam Publications and Abu-Jihaad, including discussions regarding videos Abu-Jihaad ordered from Azzam Publications that promoted violent jihad and extolled the virtues of martyrdom; a small donation of money Abu-Jihaad made to Azzam Publications; and whether it was "safe" to send materials to Abu-Jihaad at his military address onboard the U.S.S. Benfold. In another email exchange with Azzam Publications, Abu-Jihaad described a recent force protection briefing given aboard his ship, voiced enmity toward America, praised Usama bin Laden and the mujahideen, praised the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole-which Abu-Jihaad described as a "martyrdom operation,"-and advised the members of Azzam Publications that such tactics were working and taking their toll. The email response from Azzam Publications encouraged Abu-Jihaad to "keep up... the psychological warefare [sic]."

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