Baz Mohammad, a reputed Afghan drug kingpin who allegedly condoned selling heroin in the US in the name of jihad, has become the first person to be extradited from Afghanistan for prosecution. Upon his arraignment in Manhattan Oct. 24, Mohammad told US District Judge Denny Chin, “I am innocent.” He was ordered held without bail.
Mohammad faces charges of exporting $25 million in heroin to the United States in an operation protected by the Taliban regime, US Attorney Michael Garcia said at a news conference. Garcia showed photos of Afghan costumes shipped to Manhattan in which bags of heroin were stitched and concealed in the embroidered bodices.
The indictment also charges that in 1990 Mohammad told a co-defendant in Pakistan that selling heroin in the US “was a jihad because they were taking the Americans’ money and the heroin was killing them.” (Newsday, Oct. 25)
This is first extradition, but not the first alleged Afghan jihadi to face federal charges in the US for drug smuggling and other things.
See our last post on Afghanistan.