Two Malian Men Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court For Conspiring To Provide Material Support To The FARC
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that two Malian citizens, HAROUNA TOURÉ and IDRISS ABDELRAHMAN, were sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 63 months and 46 months in prison, respectively, for conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. In December 2009, TOURÉ, ABDELRAHMAN, and their associate, Oumar Issa, were charged with agreeing to transport cocaine through West and North Africa in order to support the drug trafficking activities of Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (“AQIM”), and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (“FARC”). Each of these organizations has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. TOURÉ, ABDELRAHMAN, and Issa were arrested in Ghana on December 16, 2009, and subsequently transported to the Southern District of New York. TOURÉ and ABDELRAHMAN both pled guilty to providing material support to the FARC in April 2012. TOURÉ was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, and ABDELRAHMAN was sentenced by Judge Jones today.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Combatting international narco-terrorism is among the highest priorities of this Office and the sentences we announce today are emblematic of that commitment. Thanks once again to our strong partnerships domestically and internationally, yet another group of would-be terror facilitators have been stopped.”
According to the Complaint and the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court:
The FARC is a highly structured international terrorist group dedicated to the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Government of Colombia. Organized as a military group, the FARC actively engages in narcotics trafficking as a financing mechanism, and has evolved into the world’s largest supplier of cocaine. For at least the past five years, the FARC has been responsible for violent acts committed against U.S. persons and commercial and property interests in foreign jurisdictions – including in Colombia – in order to dissuade the United States from continuing its efforts to disrupt the FARC’s cocaine manufacturing and trafficking activities.
From September 2009 through December 2009, TOURÉ, ABDELRAHMAN, and Issa, who are all from Mali, agreed to provide the FARC with services, including logistical assistance and securing transportation for a shipment of cocaine across Africa, false identification documents, and other material support and resources. The defendants knew that the FARC was engaged in terrorist activity.
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In addition to the prison terms, ABDELRAHMAN, 37, and TOURÉ, 34, were each ordered to pay a $100 special assessment fee.
Issa pled guilty in November 2011, and was sentenced by Judge Jones in March 2012 to 57 months in prison.
The charges against TOURÉ, ABDELRAHMAN, and Issa were the result of the coordinated efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the DEA’s Special Operations Division and Ghana Office. Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and thanked the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, its National Security Division, and the Department of State for their assistance. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Government of Ghana for its cooperation.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey A. Brown, Christian R. Everdell, and Edward Kim are in charge of the prosecution.