Courts & Crime

Former Florida college student climbed al Qaida's ranks, Feds say

He was not a member of the South Florida "sleeper" cell that plotted the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but former Broward County Community College student Adnan El Shukrijumah has risen to the top ranks of al Qaida's global operations, according to the Justice Department.

The Saudi-born El Shukrijumah, who studied computer science and chemistry at BCC, left his family’s home in Miramar for Trinidad the week before the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults. His whereabouts were a mystery for years.

But last July, the 35-year-old was charged along with four others in an alleged al Qaida plot to attack New York’s subway system and targets in England.

El Shukrijumah, a one-time legal U.S. resident and citizen of Guyana, is now a fugitive believed to be in Pakistan, according to the FBI.

El Shukrijumah “served as one of the leaders of al Qaeda’s external operations program,” federal authorities said in 2010. He was accused in an indictment of recruiting three other defendants to return to the United States to carry out terrorist attacks in New York.

The federal government is offering a reward up to $5 million for information leading directly to his capture.

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