"Our persistence and determination in the pursuit of this case should serve as a strong warning to any American who considers joining forces with our enemy," said Wainstein.
What might have been missed amid the backslapping is the fact Paul has been known to the FBI for at least seven years and likely longer. But the investigation only began four years ago, and Paul is only now being charged.
According to the indictment, Abu Malek has been involved with al Qaeda since 1989. In the interim, numerous al Qaeda suspects and informants have been rolled up by the FBI -- and one of them identified Abu Malek as a black American member of al Qaeda in open court back in 2001 (excerpt below).
But the trail goes back even further. According to the indictment, Paul traveled to Croatia at least once in 1993, and in February 1993, he applied for a passport in Vienna claiming his had been lost or stolen.
Paul's travels correspond to trips to Vienna, Bosnia and Croatia in January and February 1993 by Clement Hampton-El, a member of the Brooklyn terrorist cell responsible for the World Trade Center bombing.
The trips received some amount of scrutiny from the FBI at the time, but according to media reports, U.S. officials were generally warned off investigating charities sending aid to Bosnia by the Clinton administration, which wanted to provide off-the-books assistance to Muslims in Bosnia who were being slaughtered in ethnic cleansing campaigns during the 1990s.
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
3 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
5 USAMA BIN LADEN, et al.,