WASHINGTON: Kam­ran Faridi, a former high-profile agent of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been released from a Florida prison after serving nearly four years of his 84-month sentence.

On Dec 9, 2022, Faridi was sentenced to 84 months of imprisonment on his convictions for “transmitting threats in interstate commerce, threatening to assault a federal officer, and obstruction of justice.”

On March 18, 2024, a New York federal judge, Cathy Seibel, reduced the sentence of the Pakistani-origin FBI agent and informant to 72 months.

Faridi was recently released on several conditions, including surrendering his US citizenship and agreeing to leave the United States permanently before August.

Faridi, now 60, grew up in Block 3, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Karachi. He was affiliated with the Peoples Students Federation (PSF) and was a close associate of PSF leader Najeeb Ahmed, who was assassinated in 1990.

The London-based Middle East Eye (MEE) news magazine describes Faridi as a ‘Karachi street hustler’ whose family sent him to Sweden after he was found involved in several violent acts.

Faridi migrated to the US in 1991, and within four years, he purchased a gas station in Atlanta, Georgia. There he met some FBI agents who were impressed with his proficiency in Urdu, Pun­jabi, Hindi, and Spanish. In 1996, they formally recruited him as a full-time informant and agent.

“A Pakistani-American dual national, Faridi had travelled into opposition-held Syria at the height of the country’s civil war. He talked of building an orphanage there,” the report added.

Faridi’s journey from a street hustler to FBI agent ended soon after he played a pivotal role in the arrest of a Karachi businessman Jabir Motiwala in London in 2018.

He orchestrated a plot, posing as a Russian mafia operative, to ensnare Motiwala in illegal activities. However, a rift developed between Faridi and his FBI handlers when he threatened to expose their manipulation of evidence against Motiwala.

Intent on testifying on Motiwala’s favour, Faridi was arrested in London in 2020 after the FBI intercepted his conversations with Motiwala’s lawyers. Charged with threatening former FBI colleagues, Faridi was swiftly extradited back to the US.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2024

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