Vietnamese man charged with aiding AQAP
A Vietnamese man was indicted on June 29 on charges of helping Yemeni terror group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Along with the terror charges, Minh Quang Pham, 29, was charged in a New York federal courtroom with possessing and using firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence, and other violations.
According to the indictment, Pham had pledged allegiance to AQAP and had traveled from the U.K. in late 2010 to Yemen to train with the group. Along with the training, he allegedly carried an automatic weapon, prepared online propaganda and “worked alongside two U.S. citizens,” there.
Pham returned to the U.K. from Yemen in 2011, said the FBI and was arrested on the charges on June 29. Before the arrest, he had been held by British authorities in immigration custody, it said.
Pham would face a maximum sentence of life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 40 years in prison if convicted on all five counts against him, said the FBI.
“The international law enforcement cooperation that lead to today’s arrest of Minh Quang Pham, an alleged associate of a terrorist organization committed to killing Americans both here and abroad, underscores our joint commitment to identifying, prosecuting, and punishing those who would do harm to our country and our people,” said U.S. attorney Preet Bharara.
“The defendant not only allegedly pledged an oath to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and received military training from AQAP, he also helped design and disseminate its propaganda,” said New York FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk. “The investigation that led to this indictment is the result of the kind of cooperation and coordination, domestically and internationally, that is essential in the effort to prevent acts of terrorism.”
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force—which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the New York City Police Department—for the critical role they played and continue to play in the investigation of Pham and his co-conspirators. Bharara also thanked the Department of Justice’s National Security Division and its Office of International Affairs; various other U.S. government agencies; and British authorities, including the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service, all of whom provided extraordinary cooperation in the investigation.