Washington, May 1 (ANI): Ali Al-Marri, a Qatari man held without charge by the Bush administration for seven years on suspicion that he was an Al Qaeda sleeper agent, has admitted in a US District Court that he was a member of the terrorist outfit and provided material support to a terrorist organization.
Al-Marri’s plea was entered in federal court in Peoria, Ill., after the Obama Administration indicted him and ended his detention at the Navy Brig in Charleston, S.C. He faces a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
“Without a doubt, this case is a grim reminder of the seriousness of the threat we as a nation still face,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement.
“But it also reflects what we can achieve when we have faith in our criminal justice system and are unwavering in our commitment to the values upon which the nation was founded and the rule of law.”
Papers filed in connection with Al-Marri’s guilty plea paint an unusually detailed portrait of his dealings with al Qaeda and, in particular, with one of the group’s leaders, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, known as KSM, Politico reports.
Al-Marri admitted to attending terrorist training camps run by al Qaeda and that he traveled to the United States at the direction of KSM, who told him to enter the US no later than September 10, 2001, one day before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Court papers also say Mohammed arranged for Al-Marri to meet in Dubai with a financier of the September 11 attacks, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, who gave Al-Marri 10,000 dollars to fund his travels to the US.
Al-Marri entered the US on September 10, 2001 and enrolled at Bradley University in Illinois. After the 9/11 attacks, he made repeated but unsuccessful efforts to contact KSM and al-Hawsawi by phone and e-mail, the documents say.
The plea agreement also says that Al-Marri conducted research on the effect of cyanide gas and on waterways, dams and tunnels where a terrorist attack could have been mounted. (ANI)