Home > Crime and Security, Diaspora News, Foreign Relations > Accused Terrorist With Guyana Passport Charged

Accused Terrorist With Guyana Passport Charged

Adnan El Shukrijumah (photo: caribworldnews.com)

WASHINGTON DC/ GUYANA (CARIBWORLDNEWS)–A 35- year-old man who carries a Guyanese passport was yesterday charged in absentia by the U.S. Justice Department for being part of an al Qaeda plot that planned to stage attacks in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Adnan El Shukrijumah was indicted along with four others on charges that link him and the others to a terror plot targeting areas in New York and a target in the United Kingdom.

The DOJ claims that El Shukrijumah and a fifth defendant known as `Ahmad,` `Sohaib` or `Zahid,` are senior members of al Qaeda in Pakistan, and directed Abid Naseer, Adis Medunjanin and Tariq Ur Rehman in their terror plots.

Naseer, was arrested in England on Wednesday, London`s Metropolitan Police said. He has reportedly been in and out of British courts for over a year. An immigration tribunal found in May that he was an al Qaeda operative, but said he could not be deported to Pakistan because of the risk he would be tortured there. He has never been charged in criminal court in Britain.

Rehman is allegedly associated with Naseer in England while Medunjanin is reportedly linked to a New York subway bomb plot involving two other suspects, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay. The other two have already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with authorities.

Medunjanin was already in custody in connection with the New York subway plot, but the new indictment Wednesday adds another charge against him — trying to crash his car into another one as a last-ditch effort to carry out a suicide attack after other plotters were arrested.

El Shukrijumah and Rehman are not in custody. The FBI has been trying to get its hands on El Shukrijumah for years. He was born in Saudi Arabia to a Guyanese father. El Shukrijumah occasionally wears a beard, has a pronounced nose with black eyes and is asthmatic.

He speaks English and while he carries a Guyanese passport, the FBI says he may attempt to enter the United States with a Saudi, Canadian, or Trinidadian passport. He also goes by the names Abu Arif, and Jafar al-Tayyar, the latter translating to `Jafar the Pilot, ` Mohammed Essagh and `The South American.`

El Shukriumah moved to the United States in the 1980s as a young teenager with his parents. His mother Zuhrah Abdu Ahmed still resides in Florida, while his father, Gulshair El Shukrijumah, died in 2004 following a career as an Imam.

In 2001, his father had attracted the interest of officials, as the Saudi embassy had sent him $19,200.

El Shukrijumah learned English later in his youth. As a young adult in 1997, he participated in an `English as a Second Language` class. The FBI obtained a videotape of Adnan G. El Shukrijumah from the period, which shows him giving a presentation as an exercise to the class, in which he spoke at length on the subject of how to jump start a car.

In the late 1990s, U.S. authorities believe that he may have been trained at an Afghan training camp. He is alleged to have received assistance from American neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui. El Shukrijumah enrolled at Broward Community College, and earned money on the side working as a freelance computer technician. He applied for a green card to recognize his permanent residence in the United States, but lied on his application about having ever been arrested in the past.

In March 2001, while investigating Imran Mandhai, who attended the same Florida mosque as El Shukrijumah, authorities made a note that Mandhai had eyed Shukrijumah as a potential colleague in whom to confide his plans, although Shukrijumah had refused to associate with the militant Mandhai. Reports would later accuse him of plotting to destroy Mount Rushmore.

El Shukrijumah left the United States in May 2001 and flew to Trinidad after receiving his degree in computer engineering.

Jose Padilla claims to have been partnered with El Shukrijumah in the summer of 2001, and that the pair were taught how to seal natural gas into apartment complexes and detonate explosions in a course they received at the Kandahar airport. Padilla claims that the two men constantly fought, and he eventually went to Mohammed Atef to complain that he couldn`t work with El Shukrijumah and the training was canceled. In late 2002, Shukrijumah phoned his parents to tell them that he had found a wife, settled down and had a son, and was now teaching English in Morocco. In March 2003, his family`s Florida home was the subject of an FBI search which yielded no evidence of his location.

A bulletin was put out suggesting that he was wanted as a terrorist and posed a `grave danger` to `gas stations, fuel trucks, subway systems, trains, or bridges`. A number of `sightings` were reported across the country – including at a sandwich shop in south Tampa.

In September 2003, the FBI issued an alert for four people they alleged `pose a threat to U.S. citizens`, including Abderraouf Jdey, El Shukrijumah and the previously unknown Zubayr al-Rimi and Karim el-Mejjati.

There is a $5 million reward on his head. He is considered armed and dangerous.

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