All the six Lakawanna cell members traveled in 04-05/2001 to Afghanistan for training in Al Qaeda’s Al Farook camp, near Kandahar, in southeast Afghanistan. They returned to USA in 07-08/2001, before The 9/11.
After the arrest of Juma al-Dosari in Pakistan, in 12/2001, and his interrogation in Guantanamo, the USA authority began to reveal the full extent of Lakawanna Cell activity and the six members, who were in Afghanistan, were arrested on 09/2002.
The Lakawanna six were convicted in 05/2003 and sentenced in 12/2003 for 7-10 years in jail.
* Shafal Mosed, a USA Muslim citizen, was born in 1979 in Michigan, USA, and moved to, Lakawanna, New York as a boy. He is married and has a young son. He was a member in the local soccer team. In early 2002 Shafal Mosed found a job in telemarketing in his hometown Lakawanna.
He was arrested on 09/2002 for his participation in Al Qaeda’s training camp and was sentenced in 05/2003 for eight years in jail.
* Mukhtar al-Bakri. a Muslim USA citizen from Yemeni descent. He was born in USA in 1981. His family moved, shortly after his birth, back to Yemen but returned to USA in 1985-6 and settled in Lakawanna. In Lakawanna he was a member in the local soccer team.
Mukhtar al-Bakri came under increased surveillance after the USA authority reviewed and analyzed an e-mail he sent while traveling in Saudi Arabia on 08/2002. The e-mail referred to an upcoming “big meal” that authorities interpreted as a code for an impending terrorist attack.
Mukhtar al-Bakri was arrested in Bahrain the day after his wedding and interrogated there by USA agents on 09/11/2002, before extradition to USA for his participation in Al Qaeda’s training camp. He admitted the charges and was sentenced in 05/2003 for ten years in jail.
* Faysal Galab was born in Yemen in 1977. His family moved to Buffalo, New York, USA in 1981. Faysal Galab was the only Lakawanna Cell member that was not born in USA. He seemed to be a typical American teenager, interested in clothes, partying, and going to casinos. He was a star soccer player and loved watching the Buffalo Sabres hockey team. He spoke only minimal Arabic. Faysal Galab was a part-owner of a gas station in Lackawanna. He is married and has three children. Faysal Galab was arrested on 09/2002 for his participation in Al Qaeda’s training camp. On 01/10/2003 Faysal Galab pleaded guilty to lesser charges, admitting he’d had transactions with Al Qaeda and was sentenced in 12/2003 for seven years in jail.
* Sahim Alwan was born in 1976 in USA. He was a college-educated, married man with three children, who worked as a counselor with the Iroquois Job Corps Center, a job training facility located in Medina, NY. Sahim Alwan was active in the Lackawanna Yemeni community and served as president of the local mosque. He was a former soccer player in the Lackawanna team. Sahim Alwan was arrest in 09/2002 for his participation in Al Qaeda’s training camp. He cooperated with the authority and admitted to have military training in Afghanistan.
Sahim Alwan pled guilty in 05/2003 to providing material support to Al Qaeda, and was sentenced for nine years in jail in 12/2003.
Yahya Goba was arrested on 09/2001 for his participation in Al Qaeda’s training camp. He pled guilty in 05/2003 to providing material support to Al Qaeda, and was sentenced for ten years in jail in 12/2003.
All evidence suggests that the Lakawanna Six were not devoted terrorists but more of reckless adventurers looking for excitement. The sentence is, probably, the outcome of the public and political mood after The 9/11.
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