U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of NY
Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry was arraigned Wednesday in Brooklyn Federal Court and appeared in the courtroom of Brooklyn Federal Judge William Kuntz II on Thursday on a superseding indictment charging him with conspiring to commit murder in a foreign county, transmitting threats via interstate communications and visa fraud.
According to the superseding indictment and other court filings submitted by the government, Choudhry’s daughter, Amina Ajmal, was held against her will in Pakistan for more than three years by relatives at her father’s direction. During that time, Ajmal, a U.S. citizen, was forced into an arranged marriage with a Pakistani national for the purpose of obtaining a U.S. visa for that individual.
Ajmal eventually escaped Pakistan and returned to the United States with the assistance of a cousin and U.S. State Department officials. During subsequent recorded telephone calls between Ajmal and Choudhry, the defendant threatened to orchestrate the murder of Ajmal’s cousin if Ajmal, whose whereabouts remained unknown to the defendant, did not return immediately to the family home in Brooklyn. On Feb. 25, after Ajmal refused to return home, Ajmal’s cousin’s father and sister were shot and killed in Pakistan.
According to an eyewitness, Choudhry’s brother was observed standing over the victims, holding a gun and desecrating the bodies. Agents from HSI and the Diplomatic Security Service placed Choudhry, 60, under arrest in Brooklyn later that same day.
“As alleged, the defendant viewed his daughter as a commodity to be bartered. When she escaped those holding her overseas and fled to safety in the U.S., the defendant enlisted his confederates to retaliate against those who had helped her to freedom,” said United States Attorney for the Eastern District Loretta Lynch. “As a result of his plot, two innocent people were murdered in Pakistan.”
“There is nothing less honorable than the murder of innocent people,” said Homeland Security Investigations New York Special Agent-in-Charge James Hayes.
Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda Hector, Richard M. Tucker and Margaret E. Gandy are prosecuting the government’s case.