A federal grand jury yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas returned an indictment charging an American citizen from Hempstead, Texas with attempting to provide material support to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and aggravated identity theft in furtherance of support of a foreign terrorist organization.
According to the two-count indictment, the material support took the form of personnel, currency, pre-paid telephone calling cards, mobile telephone SIM cards, global positioning system receivers, public access-restricted U.S. military publications, including one involving unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations and another involving the effects of U.S. military weapon systems in operations in Afghanistan, as well as a military-issue compass and other materials.
Justice Department officials and court documents state that the “charges resulted from a long-term investigation that culminated on May 30, 2010, when [Barry Walter] Bujol boarded a ship docked at a Houston-area port … the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force began investigating Bujol in 2008 and determined he had been communicating via e-mail with Anwar al-Aulaqi, a known associate and propagandist for AQAP. Among other things, the court documents allege that Al-Aulaqi had provided Bujol with a document entitled “42 Ways of Supporting Jihad,” and that Bujol had asked Al-Aulaqi for advice on how to provide money to the “mujahideen” overseas.”
Bujol may have been communicating with some of the same people who the Ft. Hood gunman, Nadil Malik Hasan, was communicating with prior to the attacks that resulted in the death of 13 Americans in Ft. Hood, Texas.
It is cases like these that should give folks in DC pause when mulling such things as comprehensive reform of the export control system.
Read more about the case at the Houston Press blog.