Alamdar Hamdani sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Texas

Alamdar Hamdani is set to be sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas on Monday, becoming the top federal law enforcement officer in southeast Texas, and taking on one of the nation’s busiest court dockets.

“I am humbled. It is probably the greatest honor of my life, to be the Attorney General of the United States and to have the opportunity and privilege to lead one of the greatest offices in the department in my opinion. ” said Hamdani.

The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed Hamdani’s nomination on December 1, and then by voice vote in the Senate on Tuesday. Last Friday, President Joe Biden officially signed the Hamdani commission. His first trip as US Attorney will be to McAllen, where Chief US District Judge Randy Crane will be sworn in Monday morning.

Hamdani previously served as an assistant United States Attorney for eight years, notably prosecuting several unrelated cases of men in the Houston area who supported the foreign terrorist organization Islamic State, as well as two former police officers Houston accused of falsifying records related to a deadly drug. raid. Prior to that, he worked for five years as a trial attorney and deputy chief in the Department of Justice’s counterterrorism unit.

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The now-US Attorney began his career as a commercial litigator, but after the attacks of September 11 in 2001 and the ensuing violence against South Asian, Arab and Muslim Americans, Hamdani began – who were raised Muslim and later converted to Christianity – taking part. with civil rights work with the Anti-Defamation League and the American Civil Liberties Union, eventually leaving his job to start his own firm, later entering the public sector.

But he was “never gambling to serve the United States,” he said.

Hamdani was born in Manchester, England to parents from Surat in the Indian state of Gujarat, but moved to Euless with his parents at 10. He studied finance at the University of Texas at Austin before getting his law degree at the University of Houston. He now lives in Houston with his wife and two children.

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“He is well respected by judges and the defense bar and other prosecutors,” said David Adler, a defense attorney who recently represented Hamdani in the case of a Spring man convicted of aiding the Islamic State. “I think some of the biggest challenges will be managing an office as big as the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. It’s a daunting task, but I think Hamdani can do it.”

Federal public defender Philip Gallagher has worked across the courtroom from Hamdani in about four cases, including one that resulted in a seven-day trial, and Gallagher believes the appointment is a great decision.

He described Hamdani as thorough, ready, approachable and prepared in court.

“I like dealing with it on the other side of the situation,” Gallagher said. “He does his homework. He knows the case and the relevant law, so it’s easier to have fruitful conversations with him about the cases.”

Former US Attorney Jennifer Lowery will remain as First Assistant US Attorney, according to Hamdani. His first steps as her successor will be to travel to the district’s six branch offices and get to know the more than 200 assistant US attorneys now under his command, and investigate the various issues facing each office.

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“You have people you have to protect from a variety of issues, from national security to border crime, immigration issues, drug issues, violent crime, corporate fraud,” Hamdani said. “There are many issues that the department and this office deal with on a daily basis.”

The responsibility of being the United States Attorney is “exciting and scary at the same time,” he said, and while he will miss the days of trial advocacy and working with federal defendants, Hamdani said he looks forward to get to know the big swatch. in southeast Texas which he is now tasked with protecting.

“I really want to go into the communities of Houston, McAllen, Laredo, Corpus Christi and just let them know what we do in this office,” he said. “The buck stops with the US Attorney in this district.”

megane.munce@grief.com

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