Terror suspect charged in 5 U.S. soldiers' deaths
An Edmonton man accused of playing a role in a bombing that killed five American soldiers was arraigned in their deaths by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, N.Y. Friday.
Sayfildin Tahir Sharif, a Canadian citizen, faces charges of aiding in the murder of five soldiers who were slain on April 10, 2009 when a truck filled with explosives blew up near the gate of Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq.
Sharif is also charged with conspiring to kill Americans abroad and providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy.
His Edmonton-based lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, only learned of the latest developments in the case through the media.
"Well, it's still really fresh and I want to have a chance to look at it," Aloneissi said.
"But it appears that they have upgraded the charges to include the murder of the five U.S. soldiers. Prior he had been facing charges of a conspiracy to commit murder against the five soldiers."
Sharif has been in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre since he was arrested at his north end apartment in January.
Sharif's extradition hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, 2012. But Aloneissi wonders if the hearing can go ahead on that date.
"We may not be able to proceed, based on what the new allegations are," he said. "If there are new allegations, presumably, there's new evidence. If there's new evidence, what is it? We haven't been given any. That may delay things."
Staff Sgt. Gary L. Woods, 24, of Lebanon Junction, Ky., Sgt. First Class Bryan E. Hall, 32, of Elk Grove, Calif., Sgt. Edward W. Forrest Jr., 25, of St. Louis, Mo., Cpl. Jason G. Pautsch, 20, of Davenport, Iowa, and Army Pte. First Class, Bryce E. Gaultier, 22, from Cyprus, Calif., all died in the blast.
Sharif is also known as Faruq Khalil Muhammad 'Isa or Tahir Sharif Sayfildin, according to U.S. authorities.
Sharif is an ethnic Kurd who was born in Iraq. He came to Canada in 1993, living in Toronto briefly before moving to Edmonton.