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The Bronx borough of New York City, where the convicted Delowar Mohammed Hossain was a resident and worked as an Uber driver. Photo: David Dee Delgado via Getty Images

An Uber driver who plotted to join the Taliban and kill Americans was convicted Friday on two terrorism-related charges, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: The Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan earlier this year was in part enabled by recruiting fighters like Delowar Mohammed Hossain and spreading propaganda to potential members all around the world, per the New York Times.

Details: Hossain, a Bronx resident who worked as an Uber driver, first expressed a desire to join the Taliban in 2018, according to the Justice Department.

  • In the following months, he attempted to recruit a confidential FBI source to travel with him.
  • Hossain, a naturalized U.S. citizen and Bangladesh native, outlined an itinerary that he believed would conceal his intention to join the Taliban and saved $10,000 for buying weapons and other supplies after reaching Afghanistan, federal prosecutors say.
  • "Hossain allegedly wanted to kill Americans, and particularly wanted to target members of our armed forces serving our nation overseas," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement after Hossain's arrest.
  • The FBI intercepted Hossain in July 2019 at JFK International Airport as he prepared to board his flight to Thailand, the first leg of his route to Afghanistan.

Lawyers for Hossain argue that he was set up and had not actually planned to join the Taliban. "Thinking about committing a crime isn't a crime," attorney Amy Gallicchio said in her closing argument, per the Post.

Worth noting: U.S. officials and senior Taliban leaders will meet in person for the first time since the fall of Afghanistan in Doha this weekend.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - World

WHO, UNICEF to launch polio vaccine drive in Afghanistan

Afghan boys return to their homes after attending school in Chashma Dozak area of Badghis province on Oct. 16. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will launch a house-to-house vaccination campaign to inoculate children in Afghanistan against polio, the UN announced Monday.

Why it matters: The campaign, which begins Nov. 8 with the Taliban's backing, is the first such vaccine drive in over three years to reach all Afghan children, the press release noted.

Top Dem says Big Oil put Earth on "brink" of catastrophe

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Don't expect a sedate House hearing Thursday on allegations that Big Oil has intentionally sown doubt about climate change.

What they're saying: "For far too long, Big Oil has escaped accountability for its central role in bringing our planet to the brink of a climate catastrophe. That ends today," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, intends to say in her opening remarks shared with Axios.

21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

Biden in Kearny, New Jersey, on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by endorsing the broad contours of the proposal, which he was immediately planning to sell in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, House progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.