One of five Miami men convicted in federal court of conspiring to provide “material support” to the global terrorist organization al-Qaeda is back in Haiti.
Patrick Abraham, convicted in Miami in 2009 of plotting to destroy Chicago’s Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices, was deported by the U.S. government to his native Haiti on Sept. 16.
When he arrived in the country, however, Abraham was detained for questioning by Haiti’s judicial police, then sent to the National Penitentiary, said Michelle Karshan, executive director of Alternative Chance, a program for criminal deportees in Haiti.
Abraham’s family has been unsuccessful in its attempts to secure his release, Karshan said. Neither her group nor the family understands why he is imprisoned if he did not commit any crimes in Haiti.
Reginald Delva, Haiti’s former secretary of state for public safety, got approval for a new policy under which returning deportees are to be released unless other charges are pending against them in Haiti.
Abraham’s case is an exception, he said.
Because of the serious nature of his terrorism-related conspiracy conviction in the United States, Abraham is being held pending further investigation by Haiti National Police, said Delva, now the country’s minister of interior.
“Mr. Abraham has not committed any crime in Haiti, but it’s our obligation to take his case very seriously to protect everyone’s interest here in Haiti,” Delva said. “He was sentenced to 10 years in jail and served eight years in the U.S. The case is now being studied by the Justice Department here to make a final decision.”
In 2006, Abraham and six others were arrested in Miami and charged in the terrorism plot. The group was dubbed the “Liberty City Seven” because they worked out a warehouse in the Miami neighborhood. Two of the defendants were acquitted.