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Man Indicted for Planning al Shabaab Attack Cites Deafening White Noise in Sealed Court

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 21 – Cholo Abdi Abdullah is charged with planning with al Shabaab to attack the US with a commercial jet. 

 On September 5, 2023 he appeared in court saying he has lost faith in lawyers, and initially saying he now wanted to represent himself. Inner City Press was there, the only media in the courtroom.

  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Analisa Torres advised him that without a lawyer he would be at a major disadvantage.

On November 21, Inner City Press went at 9 am to Abdullah's Faretta hearing. But it was asked to leave the courtroom, from 9:22 am to 9:50 am. It has filed a letter to get the transcript of the closed proceeding, here.

After being readmitted to the courtroom, Abdullah said he wants to represent himself at trial and "stay passive," allowing the government to make its case. Apparently more reasons were given in the sealed session. A stand-by counsel was appointed, who quickly asked for a co-standby.

   Cholo Abdi Abdullah then described his conditions of confinement on an upper floor of the MDC in Brooklyn, a floor with only two other prisoners, whom he hasn't been able to see or speak with. He said the white noise is turned on so loud he cannot sleep, and doctors cannot hear him when he describes his conditions. And still - no transcript of the sealed portion of the proceeding.

  The case is US v. Abdullah, 20-cr-677 (Torres)


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