Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Harun, who was born in Saudi Arabia but claims citizenship in Niger, ambushed an American military unit with a grenade and bullets in Afghanistan. Later, he masterminded a failed bomb plot. However, in a bizarre twist, he found himself in New York, where karma quickly caught up with him.
Harun’s experience is both evil and bizarre. As assistant U.S. Attorney Melody Wells put it, he “is a man who made terrorism his life story. He made a career out of violent jihad.” He was once an al-Qaeda fighter in Afghanistan, where, in 2003, he participated in a firefight that killed two U.S. servicemen. The deceased are Army Pvt. Jerod Dennis, of Antlers, Oklahoma, and Air Force Airman Ray Losano, of Del Rio, Texas. Harun worked under the direct supervision of al-Qaeda leadership, including many who were held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
After the deadly ambush in Afghanistan, Harun traveled to Pakistan, Nigeria, and Libya. While in hiding, he masterminded a plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria. Fortunately, the plot failed. Eventually, the terrorist was taken into Italian custody. While being held by the Italians, Harun confessed to the ambush that killed Dennis and Losano.
Italian authorities extradited Harun to the United States, where, after some deliberation, he was tried in a Federal Court in Brooklyn. A jury took only two hours to convict Harun on all five counts presented to the jury, which include conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals; conspiracy to bomb a government facility; conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, al-Qaeda; providing and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda; and use of explosives in connection with terrorist activities.
It is likely that Harun will receive a sentence of life-imprisonment now that he has been convicted, though many argue for the death penalty. Many believe that the jihadi should have faced a military tribunal. Harun, who describes himself as a “warrior,” wanted to face a military trial rather than civilian prosecution. Because of this, he refused to attend his own trial.
Regardless of how Harun was prosecuted, his conviction is a victory for American justice. It is clear that his years on the run afforded him the opportunity to plan and carry out acts of terror on the United States and its allies. People should be encouraged to learn that our efforts overseas and at home are bringing positive results. One less al-Qaeda operative is free to pursue his evil machinations.