Haji Najibullah, Previously Charged in 2008 Kidnapping of American Journalist, Indicted for 2008 Attacks on U.S. Servicemembers in Afghanistan, Including Murders of Three American Soldiers and Afghan Interpreter and Downing of U.S. Helicopter
Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mark J. Lesko, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Dermot Shea, Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced the filing of a 13-count superseding indictment charging HAJI NAJIBULLAH, a/k/a “Najibullah Naim,” a/k/a “Abu Tayeb,” a/k/a “Atiqullah,” a/k/a “Nesar Ahmad Mohammad,” with federal terrorism-related offenses spanning approximately 2007 to 2009 and stemming from NAJIBULLAH’s role as a Taliban commander in Afghanistan. NAJIBULLAH had previously been charged with crimes related to the 2008 kidnapping of an American journalist and two Afghan nationals. In addition to those charges, the superseding indictment charges NAJIBULLAH with attacks on U.S. troops conducted by NAJIBULLAH and the Taliban fighters under his command, including a June 26, 2008, attack on an American military convoy that killed three U.S. Army servicemembers – Sergeants First Class Matthew L. Hilton and Joseph A. McKay, and Sergeant Mark Palmateer – and their Afghan interpreter, as well as an October 27, 2008, attack that resulted in the shooting down of a U.S. military helicopter. NAJIBULLAH is already in federal custody on the initial indictment. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Katherine P. Failla.