US Jury indicts Trinidadian terrorist

On Wednes­day night a ju­ry in­dict­ed 28-year-old Trinida­di­an Ron­dell Hen­ry, who was ar­rest­ed af­ter he al­leged­ly plot­ted a ter­ror­ist at­tack and stole a U-Haul at Na­tion­al Har­bour in Wash­ing­ton. If con­vict­ed he can face a max­i­mum of ten years in pris­om.

Re­act­ing to this lat­est ter­ror­ist plot in­volv­ing a Trinida­di­an, the Waa­ji­hat­ul Is­laamiyyah (The Is­lam­ic Front) head­ed by Umar Ab­dul­lah ex­pressed at the re­port and said such in­ten­tions should be con­demned in the strongest terms. In a re­lease late on Wednes­day night, Ab­dul­lah said “in no way should this be aligned to Is­lam and Mus­lims.”

“This type of ide­ol­o­gy places some­one to­tal­ly out of the fold of Is­lam. It’s an ori­en­ta­tion that’s the prod­uct of a failed re­sponse, a failed so­cial struc­ture, a failed ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and a failed State,” he said.

“This is not an Is­lam­ic ide­ol­o­gy. Is­lam pro­motes a monothe­is­tic ide­ol­o­gy that stands for all mankind and love for all hu­man­i­ty.”

Ac­cord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post ar­ti­cle dat­ed April 9, af­ter two years of ad­mir­ing and study­ing Is­lam­ic State fight­ers who be­head­ed and at­tacked civil­ians abroad, Hen­ry de­cid­ed it was time to join the ranks of the ter­ror­ists he con­sid­ered “brave.”

The ar­ti­cle stat­ed that Hen­ry start­ed spend­ing more time with his fam­i­ly, think­ing he would nev­er see them again, pros­e­cu­tors said. On March 24, he told his land­lord on he was break­ing his lease, and two days lat­er, he walked off his job in the mid­dle of a shift.

Hen­ry turned away from the life he had spent build­ing for him­self in the Unit­ed States over a decade with the in­ten­tion of “killing as many dis­be­liev­ers as pos­si­ble” in a sui­cide at­tack, pros­e­cu­tors said.

But the plot he’s ac­cused of was quick­ly un­cov­ered. Fed­er­al and lo­cal law en­force­ment in Mary­land said what start­ed out as in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­to a miss­ing per­son — Hen­ry — and a stolen U-Haul van turned out to be the thwart­ing of a ter­ror­ist at­tack tar­get­ing fam­i­lies and civil­ians at a ma­jor in­ter­na­tion­al air­port and a busy wa­ter­front en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tion out­side of Wash­ing­ton.

On Tues­day, a fed­er­al mag­is­trate judge or­dered Hen­ry, of Ger­man­town, to re­main in jail pend­ing tri­al in what the gov­ern­ment called an Is­lam­ic State-

in­spired plot.

Michael Citara Ma­n­is, an as­sis­tant fed­er­al pub­lic de­fend­er rep­re­sent­ing Hen­ry in the fed­er­al case, said Hen­ry has no pri­or crim­i­nal record and urged the judge to view the gov­ern­ment’s as­ser­tions with sus­pi­cion.

Hen­ry ap­peared in U. Dis­trict Court in Green­belt, Md., one day af­ter the gov­ern­ment pub­licly ac­cused him of plot­ting to mow down crowds with a stolen van to “com­mit mass mur­der.”

Fed­er­al au­thor­i­ties have charged him with tak­ing a stolen car across state lines, but he is not charged with a ter­ror-re­lat­ed count. No ad­di­tion­al charges were en­tered Tues­day.

In court, pros­e­cu­tors echoed the ac­cu­sa­tions made in ear­li­er court fil­ings that in March, Hen­ry sized up Dulles In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port for two hours to see if it had a large enough crowd for his plot. Find­ing too few peo­ple there, they con­tend, Hen­ry drove to an­oth­er tar­get — busy Na­tion­al Har­bor in Prince George’s — with the same no­tion to run down pedes­tri­ans with the van.

Of­fi­cials at the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Wash­ing­ton Air­ports Au­thor­i­ty de­clined Tues­day to de­tail Hen­ry’s where­abouts while at the air­port. They would not say where Hen­ry’s van was parked dur­ing the time he is said to have spent there and said they are co­op­er­at­ing with in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

On March 28, po­lice spot­ted Hen­ry leap­ing over a se­cu­ri­ty fence from the boat dock and ar­rest­ed him, court doc­u­ments state.

Hen­ry, who pros­e­cu­tors said was born in Trinidad and To­ba­go and is a nat­u­ral­ized US cit­i­zen, did not en­ter a plea to the fed­er­al charge. He wore a ma­roon jail jump­suit dur­ing pro­ceed­ings, and his fam­i­ly mem­bers sat to­ward the back of the court­room.

His rel­a­tives and at­tor­ney de­clined to com­ment out­side court.

- by Rhondor Dowlat

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