March 22, 2017 The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to strip a convicted terrorist of his American citizenship.
Iyman Faris was convicted of conspiring with al-Qaeda in 2003 to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. He is serving the last several years of a 20-year sentence in a federal prison.
Some national security experts say the move could signal a new, tougher stance under President Donald Trump.
In 2003, Faris, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan was sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty to casing a New York City bridge for al Qaeda, and researching and providing information to the terrorist organization on possible U.S. targets. At the time, his case was one of the highest profile terrorism cases in the country — less than two years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, all attacks on American soil have been carried out by American citizens turned jihadist, better known as “homegrown” terrorists.
American-born Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki rose through the ranks of al-Qaeda to become the second in charge, before he was killed in Yemen. Al-Awlaki inspired several terrorists, including the Fort Hood shooter and the underwear bomber. Al-Awlaki was dubbed the YouTube Bin Laden, for his ability to recruit Westerners. Al-Awlaki distributed his anti-American messages in English on jihad websites and YouTube.
The CIA deemed al-Awlaki as public enemy number one and in 2010, President Barack Obama placed him on the U.S. government’s “hit list.” His father, Nasser al-Awlaki sued President Obama to try to block the targeted killing of his son, arguing it violated his son’s constitutional right to due process as a American. In 2011, al-awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen.
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Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."