Sept. 9, 2011 — -- Law enforcement officials today announced terrorism charges against a New York resident who was arrested at JFK airport in September while allegedly attempting to travel to Pakistan and join a jihadist cell there.
Agron Hasbajrami, a legal U.S. resident and citizen of Albania, was picked up Sept. 6 after he allegedly exchanged emails with a contact in Pakistan who authorities said admitted he was involved in violent military operations that had killed American soldiers.
Hasbajrami told the contact he wanted to travel abroad to "marry with girls in paradise," according to an indictment unsealed today. Hasbajrami also allegedly sent more than $1,000 to Pakistan "to support his contact's terrorist efforts," said a statement released by New York prosecutors.
Hasbajrami was nabbed in JFK before boarding a flight to Turkey. He was carrying a tent, boots and cold-weather gear, prosecutors said. When investigators searched his home, they said they found a note that read, "Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time."
"The vigilance of law enforcement has resulted in the capture of another alleged aspiring terrorist bent on traveling overseas for violent jihad," U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "We will spare no effort in stopping terrorists before they strike."
If convicted, Hasbajrami could face up to 15 years in prison.