A Kosovar man was arrested overseas and faces charges of participation in a terror plot involving several suspects from North Carolina, federal authorities said Thursday.
Bajram Asllani, 29, a resident of Mitrovica, Kosovo, is charged with providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people abroad, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
He was arrested early Thursday in Kosovo on a provisional U.S. arrest warrant from the Eastern District of North Carolina. The United States will seek his extradition, authorities said. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
"People who are plotting to harm America and Americans are no longer a world away from us. This case began in Raleigh, N.C., and now stretches across the globe, a circumstance no one would have thought possible less than ten years ago," said Owen D. Harris, special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, in the statement.
Eight people were indicted last year in North Carolina on terror-related charges. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, Asllani was a member of the same conspiracy.
The April 19 criminal complaint, unsealed Thursday, alleges Asllani "solicited money from the conspirators to establish a base of operations in Kosovo for the purpose of waging violent jihad" and "accepted funds from the conspirators to help him travel."
Kosovo, which declared independence more than two years ago, was once a restive province of Serbia with a majority ethnic Albanian population. Islam is Kosovo's dominant religion in the Balkan nation.
The complaint alleges that Hysen Sherifi, one of the eight indicted last year, left Raleigh for Pristina, Kosovo, in 2008 "to pursue violent jihad" and formed a relationship with Asllani while in Kosovo.
Asllani allegedly provided Sherifi with videos to recruit militants and directed Sherifi to collect money to buy land, where weapons can be stored and a base of operation could be established.