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2 Iraqis charged in US with plotting terrorism

June 01, 2011 13:14 IST

Two Iraqi citizens have been charged in the United States with conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda in Iraq and plotting to carry out terrorist attacks on US troops in their home country.

Waad Ramadan Alwan, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi living in Kentucky, were arrested on May 25, 2011. The duo is charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury.

Alwan is charged with a conspiracy to kill US nationals abroad, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against US nationals abroad, attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to Al Qaeda in Iraq as well as conspiracy to possess and export Stinger missiles.

Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to Al Qaeda in Iraq, as well as conspiracy to possess and export Stinger missiles. Alwan and Hammadi face a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted.

"Over the course of roughly eight years, Waad Ramadan Alwan allegedly supported efforts to kill US troops in Iraq, first by participating in the construction and placement of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and by attempting to ship money and weapons from the United States to insurgents in Iraq," said Todd Hinnen, acting assistant attorney  general for National Security.

Alwan and Hammadi came to the United States in 2009. In September 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into the case. Later, the FBI began using a confidential human source who met with and engaged in recorded conversations with Alwan and Hammadi.

Alwan allegedly discussed with the source his prior activities as an insurgent in Iraq from 2003 until his capture by Iraqi authorities in May 2006, including his use of IEDs and sniper rifles to target US forces and details about various attacks in which he participated.

Alwan also described IED attacks on US troops that he participated in with others, including an associate whom Alwan said had lost an eye when an IED exploded prematurely.

The charging documents also allege that Hammadi had also discussed his prior experience as an insurgent in Iraq. According to the charging documents, beginning in September 2010, Alwan expressed interest in providing support to terrorists in Iraq.

The source explained that he shipped money and weapons to the mujahidin in Iraq by secreting them in vehicles sent from the United States. Thereafter, Alwan allegedly participated in operations to provide money, weapons -- including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Stinger missiles, and C4 plastic explosives -- as well as IED  diagrams and advice on the construction of IEDs to what he believed were the mujahidin attacking US troops in Iraq.

In 2010 and early 2011, Alwan allegedly picked up machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers from a storage facility in Kentucky and delivered them to a designated location believing they would be shipped to Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Yoshita Singh in Boston
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