Arrested in New York before flying to Turkey en route to Pakistan, the Albanian man had told his contact in a Pakistani terrorist group that he wanted to 'marry with the girls in paradise.'
Mr. Hasbajrami sent $1,000 to the Pakistan-based group, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and expressed his willingness to fight and, if necessary, die in the group’s avowed “holy war” against US forces in the region, according to court documents.
The case highlights how federal counter-terror agents are using material support statutes to identify potential militant Muslims in the US before they are able to travel overseas and take up arms against American soldiers.
Charging suspected militant Muslims for supporting designated terror groups overseas is an innovation that stems from the Bush administration’s war on terror. Federal agents and prosecutors have used the law to try to identify a suspect’s propensity to engage in criminal acts by exposing his expressed desire to help radical Islamic causes. The material support statute makes it explicitly illegal to give any assistance or help to a specially-designated terror group.