Feds: Iraqi to plead guilty in Ky. terrorism case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An Iraqi man charged in Kentucky with supporting terrorism in his native country will plead guilty just hours after a judge was told the government can prove he worked with insurgents to kill U.S. troops, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Stephanie Collins, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Louisville, said 24-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi is prepared to enter the plea Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Louisville.
Hammadi was to go to trial Aug. 28 on 12 charges, including attempting to send material support to a known terrorist organization. A co-defendant, Waad Ramadan Alwan, pleaded guilty earlier and is awaiting sentencing.
U.S. Justice Department attorney Larry Schneider told U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell earlier Tuesday that the government has "definitive proof" linking Hammadi to insurgent attacks after the American-led invasion of Iraq.
"He was either part of Al-Qaida in Iraq or a group affiliated with Al-Qaida in Iraq," Schneider said during a pre-trial conference.
Prosecutors said Hammadi and Alwan came to Bowling Green, Ky., as refugees in 2009 and soon after began trying to send cash, guns, Stinger missiles and other explosives to al-Qaida in Iraq but were foiled by a government informant working on a sting.
Schneider said the government wanted to show a videotape of an insurgent bomb attack against a U.S. Army captain and he contended that Hammadi knew about the plan to attack.
"He knew it was going to happen because he was involved in a terrorist cell," Schneider told the judge.
The U.S. State Department estimated that al-Qaida in Iraq had about 1,000 core members in 2005 and about 10,000 affiliated fighters at its peak in 2010.