Alleged Lackawanna Six terrorist imprisoned in Yemen

[JURIST] Jaber Elbaneh, a Yemeni-American on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists List [FBI notice] for alleged participation in acts of international terrorism, was jailed [WP report] in Yemen Monday after an appeals court upheld his ten-year prison sentence. Elbaneh was indicted by the US government in 2003 for conspiracy and providing material support to a terrorist organization, charges related to his involvement with the so-called "Lackawanna Six" [JURIST report; Frontline backgrounder], an alleged terrorist cell operating outside of Buffalo, NY. Elbaneh was jailed in Yemen in 2004, but escaped from a Yemeni prison in 2006 along with 26 other detainees. He was tried in absentia in 2007, convicted, and sentenced to ten years in prison. Elbaneh turned himself in to Yemeni authorities in December 2007, but was allowed to remain free during his retrial. Under Yemeni law, individuals convicted in absentia are retried if they later surrender. AP has more.

The US had offered a $5 million reward [US National Counterterrorism Center profile] for information leading to Elbaneh's arrest, due to his alleged connection to the al-Qaeda terrorism network. After his arrest in 2004, Yemen refused to extradite Elbaneh to the US. The move to bring Elbaneh back into custody came one day after the Washington Post published a report highlighting Elbaneh's freedom of movement through Yemen during his second trial. Reuters has more.

 

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