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Taliban fighter convicted of terrorism charges in Richmond

Posted at 9:30 PM, Aug 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-07 23:24:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Terror suspect Irek Hamidullin, 55, was convicted Friday by a federal jury of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to shoot down American helicopters and to kill U.S. and Afghan soldiers, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, and several other charges.

These charges stem from an attack Hamidullin led on U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan in November 2009. The trial took place at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Richmond.

According to court records and evidence at trial, Hamidullin had contact with high-level Taliban and Haqqani Network personnel.

"Irek Hamidullin was convicted of numerous terrorism offenses in connection with orchestrating and conducting a violent attack on Afghan and U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2009, including conspiring to kill members of the U.S. military,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “Hamidullin was captured and detained by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and brought to the United States for trial.  This case once again demonstrates our resolve to find and bring to justice, using all available tools, those who target U.S. citizens and interests around the world.”

“Hamidullin’s conviction today should serve as a reminder to terrorists around the globe that the FBI is committed to finding justice for Americans who are attacked both overseas and at home,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McCabe.  “Along with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will aggressively bring to justice those who seek to kill U.S. troops and who provide material support to terrorist organizations.”

This was the first time a military detainee from Afghanistan has been brought to the U.S. for trial.  It represented an attempt by the Obama administration to show it can use the criminal court system to deal with terror suspects.

Hamidullin was indicted back in April on 12 charges that included providing material support to terrorists, attempting to destroy a U.S. military aircraft, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempted to kill an officer of the United States.