PHILADELPHIA — A Sudanese national convicted in 1995 with nine others as part of the largest terrorism trial at the time was deported late Wednesday by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and handed over to his home country’s authorities.
Fadil Abdelghani, 52, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his part in the 1994 conspiracy headed by the blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman to target the United Nations, FBI offices and other New York City landmarks. The 1993 World Trade Center bombers were reportedly also followers of the Muslim extremist Sheikh, who is currently serving a life sentence.
The convicted terrorist had a detainer placed on him since an immigration judge ordered him removed from the country in 2009, and ERO immigration officers immediately arrested Abdelghani when he was released from federal prison in April this year. He was held in ERO custody until his deportation.
ICE prioritizes the use of enforcement personnel, detention space and removal assets to support the civil immigration enforcement priorities. By taking criminals who pose public safety threats off community streets and removing them from the country, ICE addresses a significant security and public safety vulnerability.
In fiscal 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. In fiscal 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.