Skip to comments.Ohio jury convicts 3 in plot to kill U.S. troops
Posted on 06/13/2008 2:02:41 PM PDT by Dawnsblood
A jury on Friday convicted three men of Middle Eastern descent of plotting to recruit and train terrorists to kill American soldiers in Iraq.
The men Mohammad Amawi, 28, Marwan El-Hindi, 45, and Wassim Mazloum, 27 face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors said the men were learning to shoot guns and make explosives while raising money to fund their plans to wage a holy war against U.S. troops.
Defense attorneys charged that the three defendants, who all lived in the Toledo area, were manipulated by a government informant.
The jury returned its verdict after three days of deliberations. U.S. District Judge James G. Carr did not set a sentencing date, said Bill Edwards, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Amawi, El-Hindi and Mazloum were convicted of conspiring to kill or maim people outside the United States, including military personnel. Amawi and El-Hindi were convicted of distributing information regarding explosives to terrorists.
The government's case against the three revolved around an undercover FBI informant who recorded the men for about two years beginning in 2004 while they talked about training in explosives, guns, and sniper tactics.
They often met at a tiny storefront mosque where they prayed together and in their homes.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
I’m sure that their lawyers tactic will be to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court - seems their is a 5 to 4 plurality for sympathetic treatment fot terriorists there!!
Hussein Obami will be deeply saddened to lose three sure votes come November
Fighting a war in courts of law is sheer lunacy.
How about antiwar protesters condemning them for furthering the length of the war?
...who singled them out because of their ethnicity. It's racial profiling, I tell you. They are innocent as newborn lambs.
This is good news, I didn't know that Durbin, Pelosi, and Reid had been charged. Glad that a jury figured out what they have been up to.
Don’t worry. The supreme court will award them their freedom, a million dollars each for their troubles, and free iphones all around (to their lawyers to).
Yippee! The supremes love terrorists! Hip! Hip! Hooray!
Terrorists get to strike another day!
Two years is a pretty long time to manipulate someone to do something they don’t want to do...
Defense attorneys are the scum of the earth.
Amazing. The story did not name the defense attorneys.
Hang the bastards.
The FBI initially heard about El-Hindi in 00 , while investigating a group of men suspected of promoting fundamentalist Islam in Iraq. The FBI videotaped a meeting in Washington, D.C. in 2002 attended by Rafil Dhafir, a doctor from New York, and two others in which Dhafir mentioned El-Hindi as "one of the brothers from Toledo" who was adept at coming up with money-making schemes. 6 El-Hindi was involved in numerous business endeavors supported by Dhafir over the years. Dhafir was arrested in 00 and charged with funneling proceeds from an Islamic charity, called Help the Needy, to Iraq in violation of U.S. sanctions. He received a 22-year sentence. It remains unclear how Dhafir and El-Hindi originally met. ---------Preventing Jihad in Toledo June 22, 2006 http://www.preventivestrategies.net/public/library_file_proxy.cfm?lid=37.
MORE RELATED STUFF:
* Dr. Rafil Dhafir : (Iraqi-born USA citizen) 55, a founder of Help the Needy, was a respected Iraqi-born oncologist practicing in upstate Rome [NY] and has been a member of the medical staff at Rome Memorial Hospital since 1982. The four (Dhafir, al Wahaidy, Jarwan & Zagha) were accused of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iraq by transferring cash to unidentified people in Baghdad without a license. Dhafir and Zagha also were charged with 13 counts of money laundering, as were Help the Needy and a related charity, Help the Needy Endowment. Dhafir, Al Wahaidy and Jarwan pleaded innocent. ...
Dhafir, Al Wahaidy and Jarwan pleaded innocent. ...”Is this guilt by association? Far too many people from the Mideast have been placed under suspicion,” said Edward Menkin, lawyer for Dhafir. A tentative April 27 trial date was set.- “Upstate charity tied to illegal Iraqi cash: Feds say N.Y. group laundered millions,” by DOUGLAS FEIDEN, New York Daily News, April 6, 2003
* Bassem Khafagi : Also, [Bassem] Khafagi was co-owner of a Sir Speedy printing franchise until 1998 with Rafil Dhafir, who was a former vice president of IANA and a Syracuse-area oncologist convicted in February 2005 of illegally sending money to Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime as well as defrauding donors by using contributions to his “Help the Needy” charitable fund to avoid taxes and to purchase personal assets for himself. Dhafir was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. -———— “CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment ,” by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha, MEF News, SPRING 2006
AND MORE RELATED STUFF:
JUNE 2002 : (UK : LONDON : DR RAFIL DHAFIR IS INTRODUCED — SEE IRAQ) One of the men charged in New York, oncologist Rafil Dhafir, 55, was identified last year as vice president and a board member for IANA. At a London conference last June, Dhafir also was introduced as founder and president of Help the Needy and a graduate of the University of Baghdad School of Medicine. -———— “Suspects linked to bin Laden, Iraq: Arrests of Arabs in Idaho, New York target terror financing ,” By Art Moore, WorldNetDaily.com, Friday, February 28, 2003
JANUARY 2003 : (KENNEDY AIRPORT IN NYC, NY : DR RAFIL DHAFIR’S OVERNIGHT ENVELOPE TO ZAGHA TRADING EST. IN JORDAN IS INTERCEPTED——— See HELP THE NEEDY) In January 2003, investigators intercepted an overnight envelope at Kennedy International Airport in New York City that Dr. Dhafir addressed to Zagha Trading Establishment in Amman, Jordan. The packet was forwarded to postal inspectors in Syracuse for inspection. Pursuant to a search warrant, agents found a sealed business envelope containing a $200,000 Oneida Savings Bank cashier’s check payable to “M. Zagha Trading Est.”. Officials suspect $2.73 million in bank checks bought with Help the Needy money reached Zagha this way. Maher Zagha, 34, went to college in Central New York and was living in Amman, Jordan.————— “Iraqi “Help The Needy” Dr. Seeks Bail for Fourth Time,” Posted by Ross on Tuesday January 27, 2004 at 9:11 am MST via PHXNews.com, http://www.phxnews.com/fullstory.php?article=8947 Link to story: http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com
Both Dr. Rafil Dhafir [associate of Toledo’s el Hindy] and another IANA official, an Iraqi-American by the name of Ali Al-Timimi [of PAINTBALL JIHAD FAME & well known on our anthrax threads] have visited China at least once. They arrived in late August of 1995 for a UN conference on women’s health issues... but the conference wasn’t until September 5 - 15.
NOTE The following text is a quote:
MADE IN THE U.S.A.
The Case of the Toledo Terror Cell
The case was opened in 2004 by our Joint Terrorism Task Force in our Toledo office.
In the suburbs of Toledoa bustling city on the northern border of Ohiothree men were leading seemingly normal lives. One worked at a travel agency. Another ran a car dealership with his brother. The third was a self-employed businessman with several kids.
All three, howevertwo American citizens and the third a legal permanent residentwere secretly part of a homegrown terror cell conspiring to recruit and train insurgents to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. (Also part of the celltwo Chicago cousins named in a superseding indictment who were sentenced earlier this month after being recruited by one of the Toledo defendants.)
How did he end up in an American courtroom? Because U.S. law says that if human rights violators are U.S. nationals, commit offenses against U.S. citizens, or are present in this country, they can be charged here. In Taylors case, he was born in America, and he was arrested in 2006 while trying to enter the country illegally.
What the men didnt realize was that we knew all about itthanks to a cooperating witness who helped our investigation from start to finish, and testified at trial.
The case was opened in 2004 by our Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in our Toledo Resident Agency. Also pitching in were JTTFs in our Cleveland and Chicago Divisions, as well as a host of local, federal, and international partners.
Our cooperating witness, who began working for us after 9/11, was actually a decorated veteran of the U.S. Armys Special Forces, specifically playing the part of an ex-soldier, only with a twisthed grown disenchanted with U.S. policies, become a radical convert to Islam, and was willing to provide training for violent jihad.
For two years, during the operational phase of the investigation, our witness met with the three menMohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan El-Hindi, and Wassim Mazloumand made more than 100 secret (and fully lawful) recordings of those meetings, giving us a real-time view into the activities of the cell. At the same time, we were able to control what the trio obtained from our witnessfor example, he didnt give them actual explosives training.
Because of his military expertise, our witness gained the trust of all three mencrucial in such an operation. He even took a trip overseas to Jordan with Amawi, where he was introduced to Amawis family.
The recordings revealed a litany of activities and support in the name of terror. Working together or separately, the three men:
Taught themselves how to make and use explosives;
Conducted their own training exercises;
Looked at and shared often graphic jihadist videos and materials on the Internet, including on how to make a suicide bombers vest;
Tried to provide computers and explosives to mujahideen fighters overseas and attempted to set up a false company that would funnel money; and
Discussed possible targets for their violent jihad, ultimately agreeing that they should go after U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
In February 2006because of mounting concern about the intentions of Amawi, who was in Jordan at the timewe shut the operation down and took all three suspects into custody. All were found guilty at trial in June 2008, becoming the first members of a homegrown terror cell since 9/11 to be convicted at trial on terrorism-related charges. And the three men were sentenced last fall to prison terms ranging from eight to 20 years.
In the end, the success of the investigation was the result of both time-tested law enforcement techniques and our growing post-9/11 partnerships and intelligence-gathering/analysis capabilities.
- Press release
- More terrorism cases and programs
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Three Sentenced for Conspiring to Commit Terrorist Acts Against Americans Overseas
WASHINGTONThree Ohio residents, Mohammad Zaki Amawi, 29, Marwan Othman El-Hindi, 46, and Wassim I. Mazloum, 28, have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from more than eight years to 20 years for conspiring to commit terrorist acts against Americans overseas, including U.S. military personnel in Iraq, and other terrorism-related violations.
The sentences, which were handed down yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge James G. Carr in the Northern District of Ohio, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Stephen M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; and C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge, Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Judge Carr sentenced Amawi to a term of 20 years’ incarceration followed by life on supervised release. El-Hindi was sentenced to a term of 13 years’ incarceration, including 12 years for the terror violations and 18 months for a separate fraud conviction. Mazloum received a sentence of 100 months’ or 8.3 years’ incarceration followed by life on supervised release.
In February 2007, Amawi, El-Hindi, and Mazloum were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiring to kill or maim persons outside the United States, including U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq, and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Amawi and El-Hindi were also charged individually with distributing information regarding the manufacture or use of explosives, including suicide bomb vests and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
On June 13, 2008, a jury convicted the defendants on all counts. Amawi, a citizen of Jordan and the United States, and El Hindi, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Jordan, were each convicted of one count of conspiring to kill or maim persons outside the United States, one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, and two counts of distributing information on explosives. Mazloum, a U.S. legal permanent resident from Lebanon, was convicted of one count of conspiring to kill or maim persons outside the United States and one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The convictions represented the nations first successful trial of a homegrown terror cell for terrorism related crimes.
At trial, the government proved that all three defendants engaged in a conspiracy, beginning sometime prior to June 2004, to kill or maim persons outside the United States, including U.S. armed forces personnel in Iraq. As part of the conspiracy, the defendants conducted firearms training and accessed and copied instructions in the construction and use of explosives including IEDs and suicide bomb vests. In addition, the defendants conspired to recruit others to participate in jihad training; researched and solicited funding sources for such training; and proposed sites for training in firearms, explosives and hand-to-hand combat to prospective recruits.
The government also proved that all defendants conspired to provide material support and resources, including personnel, money, explosives and laptop computers, to terrorists, including a co-conspirator in the Middle East, who had requested such materials for use against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. For example, among other activities, Amawi communicated with a contact in the Middle East on chemical explosives and traveled to Jordan in August 2005 with laptop computers intended for delivery to mujahideen brothers.
The government also proved that Amawi knowingly distributed a guide describing the step-by-step process for manufacturing chemical explosive compounds, as well as a video entitled, Martyrdom Operation Vest Preparation, which described the step-by-step construction and use of a suicide bomb vest. Amawi distributed these materials with the intent that they be used for training others to commit a crime of violence, including the killing of U.S. nationals overseas.
The government further proved that El-Hindi knowingly distributed a slide show demonstrating the preparation and use of IEDs against apparent U.S. military vehicles and personnel, as well as the video entitled Martyrdom Operation Vest Preparation. El-Hindi distributed these materials with the intent that they be used for training others to commit a crime of violence, including the killing of U.S. nationals overseas.
Assistant Attorney General Kris, U.S. Attorney Dettelbach and Special Agent in Charge Figliuzzi thanked the many different agencies that worked on this case. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Toledo, Ohio, with support from the FBI in Chicago, and with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; the U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Ohio Highway Patrol; the Toledo Police Department; and the Lucas and Wood County Sheriffs Departments.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Getz and Justin E. Herdman of the National Security Unit of the U.S Attorneys Office in Cleveland, as well Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregg N. Sofer of the U.S. Attorneys Office in Austin, Texas, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David I. Miller of the U.S. Attorneys Office in New York, (both formerly of the Justice Departments Counterterrorism Section) and Trial Attorney Jerome J. Teresinski of the Justice Departments Counterterrorism Section. The U.S. Attorneys office in Detroit also provided assistance in this case.
Regarding the “two Chicago cousins” mentioned in post no. 17:
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Zubair and Khaleel Ahmed Sentenced for Providing Material Support to Terrorists
CLEVELANDZubair Ahmed was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Khaleel Ahmed was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison today for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach.
These sentences send a strong message that we will aggressively go after those who would do harm to our servicemen and servicewomen, U.S. Attorney Dettelbach said. There is no greater priority for us than combating those who would do us harm.
The Ahmeds pled guilty in January 2009 before U.S. District Judge James Carr.
According to court documents, the Ahmeds admitted that between April 1, 2004, and Feb. 21, 2007, they unlawfully and knowingly conspired with other persons, known and unknown, to provide material support and resources knowing they were to be used in preparation for and in carrying out a violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 956 (conspiracy to kill and maim individuals outside the United States, including members of the U.S. military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.)
Zubair Ahmed, 31, of North Chicago, Ill., and Khaleel Ahmed, 29, of Chicago, are cousins.
In May 2004, they traveled together to Cairo, Egypt, where they hoped to make contact with the mujahedeen, receive training and be placed in either Iraq or Afghanistan to fight U.S. troops, according to court records.
They returned to the United States, where they came in contact with an undercover informant and sought military training, according to court records.
Zubair Ahmed testified twice in related cases in Atlanta.
Both were also sentenced to three years of supervised release and each was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Getz and Justin E. Herdman of the Cleveland U.S. Attorneys Office with help from the Justice Departments counterterrorism attorneys. It followed an investigation by the FBIs Chicago Office, with assistance from the FBIs Joint Terrorism Task Force in Toledo, Ohio. The U.S. Attorneys Office in Atlanta also provided support in the case.
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