NEW YORK — A notorious terrorist tied to three major al-Qaida attacks that killed 38 innocent people was imprisoned without bail Saturday after his overseas arrest for the savage 2015 rampage.
Fawaz Ould Ahmed Ould Ahemeid, 44, of Mauritania, was transferred into U.S. custody in Mali for joining other terrorists in the bloodbath across nine lethal months in the West African country, with court documents alleging he helped plot the attacks and even participated in one while armed with two AK-47 assault rifles and grenades.
The victims included U.S. citizen Anita Ashok Datar, 41, a public health expert killed 4,000 miles from her Tacoma Park, Maryland, home.
“We have made clear that the United States is steadfast in our commitment to bring to justice those who commit barbaric acts of terrorism targeting innocent victims,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.
“As a result of of work with our law enforcement partners here and abroad, the defendant now faces justice in a U.S. courtroom for the carnage.”
The first attack on March 7, 2015, left five people dead inside the La Terrasse restaurant in Bamako, Mali, followed five months later by the slaying of 13 victims — including five United Nations workers — inside a hotel in Sevare, Mali, by a lone terrorist with an assault rifle.
The final Nov. 20, 2015, incident brought the deaths of Datar and 19 other victims inside the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako. Authorities said the defendant “planned and oversaw” the violence inside a hotel frequented by Western visitors, while the two gunmen who invaded the hotel were shot and killed.
Authorities said Ahemeid participated in the initial attack.
“The defendant’s alleged actions, inhumanely plotting and carrying out ruthless terrorist attacks, were not forgotten and will not be forgiven,” said Michael Driscoll, head of the FBI’s New York office.
Ahemeid, arrested and transferred into U.S. custody, arrived Friday at Kennedy International Airport to face charges in the terror spree. He was accused of conspiring to provide support to a pair of foreign terrorist groups, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun.
The organizations claimed responsibility for all three of the attacks, authorities said. After the last one, both released photos of the terrorist killers with a statement praising “the two heroes … may God accept them.”
Federal prosecutors also announced plans for the U.S. to seize any property or proceeds obtained by Ahemeid for his terrorist activities.
“Ahemeid planned and executed deadly attacks targeting Westerners, including Americans, and will now be brought to justice,” vowed Michael Olsen, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Source: New York Daily News