The Queens man charged with attempting to supply anti-American fighters in Afghanistan with winter clothing is simply a subject of “police entrapment,” according to his representative at arraignment.
After a two-year investigation by the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, 27-year-old Humayoun Ghoulan Nabi of Elmhurst was arrested and charged last week with second-degree soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism and fifth-degree conspiracy along with 32-year-old Ismail Alsarabi of Brooklyn.
Both men face up to seven years in prison if convicted and each is being held on a $500,000 bond.
According to the lead detective’s deposition, Nabi allegedly was in the process of securing winter clothing and boots to ship to Afghanistan when he was nabbed.
Kenneth Finkelman, his representative at arraignment, is questioning the NYPD’s motives behind the investigation.
“It’s a ploy to show that all of the money being spent [by police] is being spent usefully and that they’re doing a great job,” Finkelman, who does not know if he will continue to serve as Nabi’s representative, said. “I suspect that after working for two years, this was the best the police could do. Maybe they got bored. It’s all very troubling and it’s a tragedy for this man.”
According to the investigation, a confidential informant was introduced to Nabi in 2011, at which time the Elmhurst man allegedly declared his hatred for the United States and interest in making his “brothers” powerful. He allegedly accused American soldiers of “raping our sisters” and expressed his desires to “kill them and cut them into pieces,” as well.
Nabi and his accomplice allegedly continued their efforts to acquire winter boots and adequate cold-weather clothing and have them sent to Afghanistan for the following two years. He allegedly wired $2,000 to his father in Pakistan to aid his efforts as well, while his “ultimate goal,” according to the deposition, was being able to eventually supply Afghan fighters with weapons.
When Nabi was arrested last week, he admitted to the accusations while Alsarabi proclaimed his innocence, according to the deposition, but Finkelman doesn’t see Nabi’s confession as forced over the duration of the investigation.
“It’s an outrage when you look at it from a broad perspective. There’s no evidence he was involved in anything,” he said. “Human beings are fragile. You push them far enough and they do ill-advised things. They took someone with different views and pushed him and that’s not American.”
In a press release issued last Thursday, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown described the defendant’s efforts to clothe Afghan fighters “as serious as supplying the enemy with bullets and bombs.”
“The cold-weather gear ... could have endangered the safety of Americans as much as supplies and guns and ammunition,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in the press release
However, Finkelman believes that this “waste of taxpayers’ money” is simply an example of bureaucratic stat-padding.
“There is this competition between the NYPD and the federal government’s individual anti-terror departments,” he said. “He had a good job, he’s married and he’s college educated. The idea that it’s a crime because you don’t like America is silly, but that’s what our nation is now.”
The two men will return to court on Oct. 25.