Pakistani man given 30 years in New York al Qaeda case

TARGETS: Underground gas storage tanks in Maryland

21 July 2006: A PAKISTANI man convicted in November, 2003 of participating in an al-Qaeda plot to blow up service stations and refineries inside the United States was sentenced to 30 years in prison by US Federal Judge Sidney H. Stein. Uzair PARACHA was found guilty of five charges following a two-week trial; charges included conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, a foreign terrorist organization. He was convicted of agreeing to help a former US resident, Majid KHAN, an al Qaeda operative with terrorist plans sneak into the United States by posing as KHAN to obtain proper immigration papers. The case against Majid KHAN detailed his plans to assist al Qaeda leaders in bombing underground storage tanks at gas stations in Maryland.


Prosecutors said PARACHA attended several meetings in Pakistan with his father Saifullah PARACHA and suspected al Qaeda members Majid KHAN and Ammar al-BALUCHI. ” PARACHA attempted to help an al-Qaeda operative enter the United States to carry out terrorist attacks within our borders,” US Attorney Michael Garcia said after the sentencing in New York. “We are committed to the vigorous prosecution of all those who provide support to terrorist organizations, in whatever form,” added Mr. Garcia. The other suspects are being held in undisclosed locations and have yet to be charged.

His father, Saifullah Paracha, however, is being held as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has denied involvement in terrorism, though documents indicate he is suspected of laundering money for terrorists and associating with al Qaeda figures.

Paracha, 26, waved and smiled to his family as he entered and left court.