FBI: Iraqi's IED drawings were workable

March 27, 2012 - 3:25 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An Iraqi refugee who later pleaded guilty to 23 terrorism-related charges drew multiple diagrams of roadside bombs he used in Iraq between 2003 and 2006, and investigators concluded that explosives built to the specifications in the drawings would have worked, the FBI said in two search warrant applications.

FBI Special Agent Richard Glenn said 30-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan drew diagrams of four types of roadside explosives with the intent of passing them along to someone he thought was involved with Al-Qaida in his home country.

The search warrants, approved last May and obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday as a public record, provide details of recorded conversations between 24-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, Alwan and a confidential informant from late 2009 through early summer 2011 in Bowling Green.

Hammadi faces 12 charges, including perjury and attempting to send material support to a known terrorist organization. His trial is scheduled for July 30. Alwan pleaded guilty and is to be sentenced Oct. 2.

Prosecutors sought the warrants to search an apartment Alwan and Hammadi shared in Bowling Green, about 115 miles south of Louisville. The warrant does not reveal what agents found in the apartment.

Prosecutors say Hammadi lied to gain refugee status and enter the United States. Prosecutors said Alwan took part in insurgent activities in Iraq, including planting improvised explosive devices targeting U.S. troops.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisville, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the details of the warrant.

An FBI informant, whose identity remains secret, met with Alwan for nearly 18 months and Hammadi for about five months.

During multiple conversations in 2010 and 2011, Alwan discussed planting roadside bombs to destroy American vehicles and talked about losing fellow insurgents when the devices malfunctioned, including one that went off "and cut him to pieces." When the confidential informant told Alwan that the "Hajj," a fictional terrorist leader created for the investigation, wanted pictures, Glenn wrote that Alwan quickly complied.

"Yes, that's easy," Alwan said. "The ones that I know I will make them for him and I will tell him these are the ones."

Alwan told the informant that roadside bombs could be filled with "anything lethal could be stuffed in it, such as ball bearings, nails, gravel and whatever item that kills," according to the warrants. Glenn also quoted Alwan as discussing how insurgents used the Senao brand of wireless telephone to trigger the roadside bombs, but eventually stopped because U.S. troops figured out how to disable the explosives before any damage could be done.

"We used to program it but they were able to penetrate the number," Glenn quoted Alwan as saying.

The affidavits also reveal that the two men used computers to talk with family, friends and insurgents in Iraq. Hammadi told the informant he has been in touch with someone in Iraq in March 2011 who knew how to use cocoa in an explosive mixture and told the informant how the device would work.

"I was there observing them while they were working on it," Glenn quoted Hammadi as saying.

Hammadi told the informant he went to a website to view speeches given by insurgents.

The warrants recount some previously released information about how the men wanted to gather explosives, guns and cash and have them sent to Iraq. Alwan asked for sniper rifles and talked about how he used them against U.S. troops, Glenn wrote.

"Alwan later explained that he was also very good with a sniper rifle and that his 'lunch and dinner would be an American,' an apparent reference to his repeated attacks on U.S. troops," Glenn wrote.

Alwan talked about his insurgent activities in Iraq, including attacks on American soldiers, and said he couldn't return because "I am wanted there."

"He then added, 'I didn't come here for America. I came here to get a passport and go back to Turkey, Saudi or wherever I want'," Glenn wrote.

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Associated Press reporter Brett Barrouquere is on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBarrouquereAP