Malian National Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Murder U.S. Diplomat
April 26, 2016 - 1:24 pm
NEW YORK - Alhassane Ould Mohamed, aka Cheibani, 46, a citizen of Mali, was
sentenced to 25 years in prison in the Eastern District of New York for
conspiring to murder a U.S. diplomat stationed in Niamey, Niger, in
The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National
Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers of the Eastern
District of New York and Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez of
the FBI New York Field Office.
According to court filings and facts presented during the plea
proceeding, in the early morning hours of Dec. 23, 2000, Mohamed and a
co-conspirator accosted a group of employees of the U.S. Embassy in
Niger as they left a restaurant in Niamey. Carrying a pistol and an
AK-47 assault rifle, the two men approached U.S. diplomat William
Bultemeier as he was about to enter his car, a white sport-utility
vehicle bearing diplomatic license plates clearly indicating that it
belonged to the U.S. Embassy. After demanding that Bultemeier turn over
the keys to the diplomatic vehicle, the defendant and his
co-conspirator shot Bultemeier and Staff Sergeant Christopher McNeely,
the Marine Detachment Commander for the U.S. Embassy in Niger at the
time, who had run to Bultemeier’s aid. Mohamed and his fellow assailant
then drove away in the U.S. Embassy vehicle.
Bultemeier died of the injuries inflicted by the gunshot wounds.
Staff Sergeant McNeely survived the shooting and later retired from the
Marine Corps as a Master Sergeant.
“The defendant and his confederate murdered U.S. diplomat William
Bultemeier in cold blood and seriously injured U.S. Marine Staff
Sergeant Christopher McNeely, who bravely risked his life to attempt to
save his colleague,” said U.S. Attorney Capers. “Although nothing can
undo the pain caused by the defendant’s violent actions, we hope the
victims’ families can take some measure of solace in knowing that the
defendant is being held accountable for the senseless murder of Mr.
Bultemeier and the attack on Staff Sergeant McNeely. The United States
takes the protection of its employees stationed overseas very seriously
and will continue to work tirelessly to bring those who harm our
diplomats to justice.”
“Over the past 16 years, Cheibani evaded full accountability for his
murderous actions in taking the life of a U.S. Diplomat,” said Assistant
Director in Charge Rodriguez. “U.S. employees working overseas
understand there are certain risks in representing their government in
foreign territories; however, a death sentence should not be one of
them. We are extremely grateful to the governments of Niger and Mali,
in helping U.S. authorities seek justice for Cheibani’s crime. FBI New
York’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with the U.S. Attorney’s
Office, conducted a thorough investigation and collected the necessary
evidence to substantiate today’s sentence. Our condolences to the
family of Mr. Bultemeier and the families of all crime victims. FBINY
will continue to work, day and night, to hold those accountable for
their crimes, and prevent acts of terror against our citizens, both
domestically and abroad.”
The sentencing took place before U.S. District Judge William F. Kuntz II of the Eastern District of New York.
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