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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Muslim convert gets 35 years in plot to attack shopping mall

Muslim convert gets 35 years in plot to attack shopping mall

October 1, 2008

AP http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,235518,00.html

Courtroom artist's drawing of Derrick Shareef in 2006

Rockford man gets 35 years in plot to attack mall Associated Press
11:00 AM CDT, September 30, 2008

CHICAGO - A 24-year-old Rockford man who admired Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for plotting to blow off hand grenades in a crowded shopping mall during the Christmas season.

Derrick Shareef must serve 30 of those years -- with five off for good behavior -- unless he can get an appeals court to reduce the sentence.

Federal Judge David Coar said Tuesday he didn't believe Shareef was evil. But he said people could have been severely hurt if federal agents hadn't broken up the plot. Shareef described himself as a devout Muslim who once believed bin Laden was a scholar but has now realized violence is wrong.


Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice

Patrick J. Fitzgerald
United States Attorney
Federal Building
219 South Dearborn Street, Fifth Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 353-5300
JANUARY 4, 2007

AUSA Brian Hayes
AUSA/PIO Randall Samborn

(312) 353-5318


CHICAGO - A Rockford, Ill., man, who was arrested last month and charged with allegedly planning to set off several grenades in garbage cans at a shopping mall in Rockford, was formally indicted today on the same charges, federal authorities announced.

The defendant, Derrick Shareef, was arrested on Dec. 6, 2006 by agents of the FBI-led Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) when he met with an undercover agent at a store parking lot in Rockford to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a hand gun.

A federal grand jury in Chicago today returned a two-count indictment charging Shareef with one count of attempting to damage or destroy a building by fire or explosion and one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, announced Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Those are the same charges that were brought against Shareef in a criminal complaint at the time of his arrest.

Shareef, 22, of Rockford, will be arraigned in U.S. District Court on a date yet to be determined. He remains in federal custody without bond after waiving his right to a detention hearing on Dec. 20, 2006.

At the time of his arrest, authorities said there was no imminent risk of harm once the threat allegedly posed by Shareef was detected by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the charges allege that he was acting alone.

According to the indictment, Shareef allegedly planned to set off grenades at the CherryVale Shopping Mall. The mall is located near the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 39 on the east side of Rockford, about 90 miles west of Chicago. The mall, which has approximately 130 retail stores, is owned by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., based in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The mall was among several potential targets that Shareef allegedly discussed during the course of the investigation - the others were primarily local government facilities. At all times Shareef allegedly was acting on his plan between November 29, 2006, and December 6, 2006, Shareef was in contact with only an acquaintance, who unbeknownst to him was cooperating with the FBI, and an undercover agent who was posing as the cooperating individual's friend.

The Chicago FBI's JTTF is comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies from throughout the Northern District of Illinois, all of whom contributed to the investigation.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jake Ryan and Victoria J. Peters.

If convicted, the building arson or explosion count carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years, and the attempting to use weapons of mass destruction count carries a maximum of life in prison, and both counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 fine. Note, however, that the Court would determine the appropriate sentence to be imposed.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

# # # #



'Lone Wolf' Charged With Plotting Attack During Christmas Rush

Feds Arrest Would-Be Terrorist Allegedly Planning to Set Off Grenades in Rockford Mall


Dec. 8, 2006

A Chicago-area man has been charged in an alleged plot to attack a local mall and government buildings.

Derrick Shareef was arrested Wednesday as he attempted to buy grenades and a handgun from an undercover FBI agent posing as a weapons dealer.

In September, Shareef became acquainted with a confidential witness who was cooperating with the FBI and confided to him that he wanted to commit acts of violent jihad against civilians.

On Dec. 2, Shareef and the confidential source made video tapes that included a last will and testament for each. On the video, Shareef again mentioned jihad and said, "This is a warning to those who disbelieve, that we are here for you and I am ready to give my life."

According to the complaint filed today in Chicago, Shareef also discussed attacking local buildings on several occasions, including city hall, the federal courthouse and the shopping center.

In Chicago, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said, "While these are very serious charges, at no time was the public in any imminent peril as a result of the defendant's activities."

According to Justice Department officials, Shareef was under almost constant video surveillance in the days leading up to his arrest.

In a series of undercover records, Shareef discussed with the confidential source shooting a judge in DeKalb, Ill., and targeting government buildings in the Chicago area.

In a Nov. 30 covertly recorded conversation, the confidential source and Shareef discussed attacking a mall. The confidential source said, "You go in there and toss a grenade, and no one's gonna know who did it." Shareef replied, "No one's gonna be expecting no s--t like that. ...The last thing anybody's gonna be thinking about at the mall is a damn grenade."

According to the FBI affidavit detailing the conversations, Shareef later told the informant about the targets he wanted to attack. "Any place that's crowded, like a mall is good, anything, any government facility is good," Shareef said.

On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Shareef and the informant visited the CherryVale mall in Rockford, Ill. As the two men cased the mall, allegedly plotting a grenade attack, FBI surveillance teams monitored.

In discussions with the informant, Shareef said that during Israel's recent conflict with Hezbollah, he considered attacking Jewish people and a synagogue in the DeKalb area.

In the affidavit filed in court, FBI agent Jared Ruddy noted that after casing the mall, the two "engaged in a discussion about shaving their body hair and meditating to prepare. Based on my training and experience, as well as the context of the call, I believe that the [confidential source] and Shareef were discussing the preparations they would undertake prior to committing an attack."

The next day, Shareef and the informant made videotaped last wills and testaments, in which Shareef said, "This tape is to let you guys know, who disbelieve in Allah, to let the enemies of Islam know, and to let the Muslims alike know that the time for jihad is now."

As the informant and Shareef further discussed their plans, Shareef spoke with the undercover FBI agent on the case who was posing as the weapons dealer. According to court documents, Shareef was to trade a set of stereo speakers for four grenades and a 9mm handgun.

When the informant, Shareef and the undercover agent met on Dec. 6, Shareef exchanged the speakers for four dud grenades and the handgun and ammunition. After the exchange, Shareef was taken into custody by FBI agents.

At his initial court appearance in Chicago this afternoon, Shareef did not enter a plea. He will remain in custody until his next court appearance on Dec. 20. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=2710776&page=1

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