Accessibility links

Breaking News

Albanian Gets U.S. Jail Term For Trying To Join Pakistan Militants

A 31-year-old Albanian, arrested for trying to travel from New York to Pakistan to join a terrorist group, has been sentenced to 16 years in a U.S. jail.

Agron Hasbajrami pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to support terrorists, nearly four years after he was arrested preparing to fly to Pakistan in September 2011.

Prosecutors said he would be deported upon release. Hasbajrami moved to the United States in 2008 and was a legal resident in Brooklyn, New York before his arrest.

In 2011, Hasbajrami wired more than $1,000 to "support terrorist activities" in Pakistan and Afghanistan before trying to travel to Pakistan's tribal belt to join jihadists, prosecutors said.

He had expressed his desire to die as a martyr in an email to an unnamed individual in Pakistan, who claimed to be a member of an armed group that killed U.S. soldiers and kidnapped westerners.

U.S. agents found a note reading, "Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time," during a search of his Brooklyn home.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.