News and Press Releases

Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed - Convicted of Conspiring to Provide Support to Al Qaeda and Hamas Terrorist Groups - Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison

September 01, 2005

ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, today announced that MOHAMMED MOHSEN YAHYA ZAYED, previously convicted with his co-defendant Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan Al-Moayad of conspiring to provide material support to the Al Qaeda and Hamas terrorist groups, and attempting to provide support to Hamas, was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment, the statutory maximum, and $750,000 fine. The sentencing proceeding was held before United States District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn.

Sheik Al-Moayad and ZAYED, the personal assistant to the Sheik, were arrested on January 10, 2003, in Frankfurt, Germany, by German law enforcement agents based on complaints issued in Brooklyn, New York, following a year-long investigation and undercover operation by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. The investigation focused on Al-Moayad's provision of money, recruits, weapons and communication equipment to terrorist groups, and revealed that Al-Moayad had substantial and direct ties to Usama bin laden and Al Qaeda. In Germany, Al-Moayad and ZAYED met with two FBI confidential informants and discussed plans to obtain over $2 million to fund Al Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

Following extradition proceedings in Germany, the defendants were returned to the United States on November 11, 2003. On December 13, 2004, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging each defendant with, among other counts, conspiring and attempting to provide material support to Al Qaeda and Hamas. The trial commenced on January 28, 2005, and the jury returned its guilty verdict on March 10, 2005.

On July 28, 2005, Al-Moayad was sentenced to 75 years in prison, the statutory maximum.

"Terrorists cannot survive without financial support," stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. "Today's sentencing brings to a close an important and successful prosecution that has cut off a major source of funds financing terrorism." Ms. MAUSKOPF extended her grateful appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, the members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, and to her office's law enforcement colleagues in Germany - particularly the members of the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) - for their most helpful cooperation.

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