Abdelrahman Farhane, a/k/a “Abderr Farhan”, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 13 years in prison on Monday. On November 9, 2006, Farhane pleaded guilty to a two-count indictment charging him with participating in a conspiracy to commit money laundering, the object of which was to provide money for jihadists in Afghanistan and Chechnya to purchase weapons and equipment, and with making a false statement to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with a terrorism investigation.
According to the documents filed in the case:
In 2001, the FBI became involved in an investigation involving the provision of material support to international and domestic terrorists and terrorist organizations, including fundraising, financing, and recruitment.
In connection with that ongoing terrorism-related investigation, in December 2001, a confidential source working at the direction of the FBI ("CS") visited a retail store in Brooklyn, New York, owned by Farhane.
Over the course of numerous meetings at Farhane’s store, all of which were recorded, the CS and Farhane discussed sending money overseas to support jihad, specifically so that the “fighters” in Chechnya and Afghanistan could obtain wireless communications equipment and advanced weaponry.
During one of these meetings, the suspect indicated that he would ask some “brothers” for help in determining the best way to send money to the jihadists. Subsequently and to that end, he introduced the CS to Tarik Shah. (Shah was later charged in the same Indictment as Farhane with conspiring to provide material support to the al Qaeda terrorist organization; Shah pleaded guilty to that charge and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10, 2007).
The CS, Farhane and Shah continued to discuss how money could be sent to support jihadist fighters overseas, with Farhane providing suggestions concerning whether a specific “brother” who could assist them was trustworthy, and how to structure money transactions so as not to trigger government scrutiny.
Shortly following Shah’s arrest on material support charges in May 2005, FBI agents went to speak with Farhane on June 9, 2005 concerning his contacts with others who appeared to be able and willing to get money to mujahideen fighters. After having been warned that making false statements to federal officials is a crime, Farhane provided materially false information about his contacts with the CS and Shah, and falsely denied the substance of their recorded conversations concerning sending money to terrorist fighters overseas.
During his guilty plea, Farhane acknowledged, among other things, that he agreed to “transfer money to mujahideen in Afghanistan and Chechnya,” and that he lied to FBI agents involved in an investigation on that subject.
Farhane, 52, has been detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center since February 24, 2006.
Another defendant in this case, Mahmud Faruq Brent, a/k/a “Mahmud Al Mutazzim,” pleaded guilty on April 2, 2007 to charges of conspiring to provide material support to the Laskare-Taiba terrorist organization.
Brent is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10, 2007. The final defendant in this case, Rafiq Sabir, is charged with conspiring to provide and providing material support to the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Sabir’s jury trial is scheduled to begin on April 27, 2007.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org).