Trump Administration Brings Algerian Terrorist Suspect to U.S. Federal Court

In this March 15, 2010, file photo, Ali Charaf Damache arrives at the courthouse in Waterford, Ireland. Damache, an al-Qaida suspect known as Black Flag who has been linked to a plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, appeared in federal court in Philadelphia on Friday, July 21, 2017, after …
Peter Morrison/AP

The United States extradited an Algerian man wanted for conspiring to provide material and other resources to terrorists, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week.

Ali Charaf Damache, also known as “Theblackflag,” 52, made his initial court appearance Monday before Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the announcement about the case said.

The DOJ has confirmed that Damache will be tried in the United States on his 2011 indictment in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

The DOJ announced:

As part of the conspiracy, Damache, his co-defendants Mohammad Hassan Khalid, Colleen R. LaRose, Jamie Paulin Ramirez, and others conspired to provide material support and resources, including logistical support, recruitment services, financial support, identification documents, and personnel, to a conspiracy to kill overseas.

Damache, Khalid and others devised and coordinated a violent jihad organization consisting of men and women from Europe and the U.S. divided into a planning team, a research team, an action team, a recruitment team and a finance team; some of whom would travel to South Asia for explosives training and return to Europe to wage violent jihad.

DOJ also announced that Damache, Khalid, LaRose, and others recruited men online “to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe.”

Damache, Khalid, LaRose and more allegedly recruited women with passports and the ability to travel to destinations in and around Europe to support violent jihad.

The case was investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the FBI’s New York Field Office, in conjunction with the FBI’s Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, Field Offices, according to DOJ. The Justice Department added that authorities in Ireland and Spain also assisted in the case.

The New York Times claimed that the move by the Trump administration was a reversal of Trump’s campaign stand that suspected terrorists should be sent to the naval prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, rather than to civilian courtrooms.

“Had the Trump administration insisted on bringing Mr. Damache to Guantánamo Bay, it would have met strong opposition in Europe,” the Times reported. “America’s closest allies refuse to participate in any effort to bring new prisoners to Guantánamo.”


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