Jurors have found two Albany Mosque leaders guilty of terrorism charges. Pizzeria owner Mohammed Hossain was found guilty on all charges against him, while Imam Yassen Aref was only convicted of 10 of the charges. Our Steve Ference has the latest information on the verdict.
The jury foreman speaks out after he and his fellow jurors spent a full four days deliberating over charges these two men supported terrorism through money laundering, lied on immigration documents and aided a designated terrorist group.
U.S. Attorney, Bill Pericak, said “This is a world where when we have suspicions about people, we have a choice. Do we do something or do we wait until something happens?”
Prosecutor Bill Pericak said the government sting operation nabbed two men who could have walked away from the FBI informant who pretended to be a missile dealer to a terrorist organization.
But they didn’t.
The jury found Mohammad Hossain, a pizza shop owner guilty on all charges, conspiring to conceal money believed to be the proceeds of supporting a terror organization, importing and dealing firearms without a license and conspiring to prepare and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction.
“The jury worked very hard,” Pericak said. “And you could tell from their verdict that they really examined the evidence very carefully and I think they arrived at a just result.”
While not found guilty on all counts, the jury decided Albany Muslim leader Yassin Aref also conspired to conceal money believed to be the proceeds of the sale of a surface to air missile, threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing support to the terrorist group Jaish-il Muhammad.
Defense attorney, Terrence Kindlon, said he looks to the future.
“You know clearly, the willingness of the jury in this case to acquit on 20 of the 30 counts gives us a glimmer of hope for the future.”
Now the attorneys try to figure out the complicated sentencing guidelines that could lead to Aref’s deportation and Hossain’s incarceration for around 20 years.