Brooklyn Man Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Honor Killings In Pakistan
Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry was arraigned earlier today on a superseding indictment charging him with conspiring to commit murder in a foreign county, transmitting threats via interstate communications, and visa fraud. He is next scheduled to appear in court before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz II tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.1
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York; and Michael R. Fogarty, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
According to the superseding indictment and other court filings submitted by the government, Choudhry’s daughter, Amina Ajmal, was held against her will in Pakistan for more than three years by relatives at her father’s direction. During that time, Ajmal, a U.S. citizen, was forced into an arranged marriage with a Pakistani national for the purpose of obtaining a U.S. visa for that individual. Ajmal eventually escaped Pakistan and returned to the United States with the assistance of a cousin and U.S. State Department officials. During subsequent recorded telephone calls between Ajmal and Choudhry, the defendant threatened to orchestrate the murder of Ajmal’s cousin if Ajmal, whose whereabouts remained unknown to the defendant, did not return immediately to the family home in Brooklyn. On February 25, 2013, after Ajmal refused to return home, Ajmal’s cousin’s father and sister were shot and killed in Pakistan. According to an eyewitness, Choudhry’s brother was observed standing over the victims, holding a gun and desecrating the bodies. Agents from HSI and the Diplomatic Security Service placed Choudhry under arrest in Brooklyn later that same day.
“As alleged, the defendant viewed his daughter as a commodity to be bartered. When she escaped those holding her overseas and fled to safety in the U.S., the defendant enlisted his confederates to retaliate against those who had helped her to freedom. As a result of his plot, two innocent people were murdered in Pakistan,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We are committed to ensuring that people in the United States who export murder abroad will be brought to justice.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to HSI and the State Department, which have worked closely together to investigate the case, and added that the government’s investigation is ongoing.
“There is nothing less honorable than the murder of innocent people,” said HSI New York Special Agent-in-Charge Hayes. “HSI and our global law enforcement partners work diligently crimes like these and serve justice on the predators who commit them.”
“The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations to bring those who commit crimes to justice,” said Gregory B. Starr, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director, U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. “The Diplomatic Security Service’s strong relationship with our law enforcement partners continues to be essential in the pursuit of justice.”
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda Hector, Richard M. Tucker and Margaret E. Gandy.
MOHAMMAD AJMAL CHOUDHRY