Suspected al-Qaeda member Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Harun aggressively resisted his trial in a Brooklyn Federal Court Friday for murdering two servicemen in Afghanistan, The New York Daily News is reporting.
Harun tore off his clothes and refused to meet with his lawyers. His screams, reverberating from the holding cell, prompted Federal Judge Brian Cogan to not bring out the alleged terrorist into the courtroom if he wanted to avoid the use of excessive force.
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This was not the first time that Harun had put up his crazy act. He had always resisted being tried in a civilian court, insisting that as a “jihadi warrior,” he was meant to appear in a military court at Guantanamo Bay.
Judge Brian Cogan was well aware of Harun’s over-the-top antics, and had instructed U.S. marshals to chain Harun’s hands and legs for the ride to court from the Metropolitan Detention Center, but Harun tore his orange jumpsuit using his hands and teeth and managed to take it off. By the time he arrived at the courthouse, he was clad in only his orange boxer shorts. The marshals managed to find a shirt for Harun, but were reluctant about freeing his legs to put on replacement pants. Judge Cogan believed it was inappropriate to bring him into a court of law wearing only boxer shorts.
Harun, who has been found mentally fit to stand trial, was charged in the killing of Airman 1st Class Raymond Losano and Private 1st Class Jerod Dennis on April 25, 2003, during a fierce gun battle in Afghanistan close to the Pakistani border. Harun implicated himself in the murders when he left a copy of the Koran splotched with his fingerprints behind. He had dropped it on the battlefield during the fighting.
Even though the “jihadi warrior” has refused to speak to his lawyers, Judge Cogan penciled down a tentative date in October for his legal counsel to pursue a defense case with or without him.
“This is a defendant who absolutely refuses to acknowledge or participate in this process. He doesn’t want to know and that’s his way of defeating the system,” Judge Cogan said.
Harun, a battle-hardened al-Qaeda fighter, fought U.S. troops in Afghanistan and was on the brink of bombing U.S. diplomatic facilities in Nigeria. He has been in federal custody from October, after being extradited from Italy. Harun, who also used the moniker “Spin Ghul,” was indicted on conspiracy charges to murder U.S. military personnel, provide material support to the terrorist group-al-Qaeda, and blow up diplomatic buildings.
Harun had been cooperating with federal agents when they questioned him in Italy. With the consent of his legal team, the government had asked a federal judge to keep his indictment under wraps so as to leverage on the valuable information he was providing.
Harun was born in Saudi Arabia, but moved to Afghanistan to join al-Qaeda before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. He fought U.S forces in Afghanistan until he was wounded and travelled back to Nigeria with instructions to bomb U.S. diplomatic facilities. When one of his suspected co-conspirators was arrested, Harun fled to Niger and crossed into Libya where he was jailed between 2005 and 2011. It is unclear if he gained his freedom after the prison was taken over by rebels or was pardoned by despotic leader Moammar Gaddafi.
In June, 2011, Harun was on a refugee boat headed to Italy. He assaulted the Italian officers who intercepted them on the high sea, declaring himself a member of al-Qaeda and was arrested. In the presence of an Italian lawyer, he waived his right to remain silent and was interviewed by FBI agents before being extradited to the United States in 2012.
[AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams]