Trial starts for terror suspect, but he stays in his cell

AP News
|
Posted: Mar 06, 2017 11:05 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors at the trial of a suspected al-Qaida operative told jurors he had made terrorism his "life's work" as opening statements got underway.

Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun wasn't in the federal courtroom in Brooklyn on Monday. He refused to attend, leading to opening statements being shown to him in his cell via video camera.

His attorney told the jurors they shouldn't let his admitted allegiance to al-Qaida lead them to assume he had done all the things the government is accusing him of doing.

According to prosecutors, the Saudi Arabian-born Harun went to Afghanistan shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks for the purpose of fighting with al-Qaida against U.S. troops. They said he went to Africa after receiving further training, with the intent of attacking American diplomatic sites.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Jacobs said Harun "embraced terrorism at a young age and made it his life's work."

He told jurors Harun's past included an April 2003 fight against U.S. soldiers near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where he fired a gun and threw grenades at a group of U.S. military members. Two soldiers were killed, and five others were injured.