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Nigerian Al Qaeda Member To Be Extradited To US  

August 29, 2013

A Nigerian suspect, Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, is expected to face trial in the United States for allegedly supporting a designated foreign terrorist organisation, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The 33-year old suspect was allegedly given about $9,000 by AQAP leadership to recruit other English speakers from Nigeria to join the terrorist group.
Charges were preferred against Babafemi yesterday by the U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta E. Lynch; the Acting Assistant Attorney-General, National Security Division, John Carlin and the Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, George Venizelos.
A statement by the Information Office, Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, said Babafemi is also known as “Abdullah” and “Ayatollah Mustapha”.
The embassy said the suspect would soon be extradited from Nigeria to the U.S for trial.
The statement said: “An indictment was unsealed yesterday in the Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, charging a Nigerian citizen with providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (“AQAP”), and using high-powered firearms in furtherance of that crime.
“The United States is currently seeking the extradition of the defendant, Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi, also known as “Abdullah” and “Ayatollah Mustapha,” from Nigeria.
“At the request of the United States, the Nigerian government thereafter commenced extradition proceedings against the defendant in July 2013.
“The charges were announced by E. Lynch, Carlin, and Venizelos.
“United States Attorney Lynch acknowledged the continued cooperation and assistance of the government of Nigeria in terrorism matters affecting both nations.
“According to court documents, between approximately January 2010 and August 2011, the defendant travelled twice from Nigeria to Yemen to meet and train with leaders of AQAP, the Yemen-based branch of al-Qaeda.
“Babafemi assisted in AQAP’s English language media operations, which include the publication of the magazine, Inspire.
“At the direction of the now-deceased senior AQAP commander Anwar al-Aulaqi, Babafemi was provided by AQAP leadership with the equivalent of almost $9,000 in cash to recruit other English-Speakers from Nigeria to join that group.
“While in Yemen, Babafemi also received weapons training from AQAP.”

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