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US citizen sentenced to 45 years for supporting Al Qaeda

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

An American citizen, who received training in the tribal areas of Pakistan, was sentenced to 45 years of imprisonment today for conspiring to kill US nationals and providing support to Al Qaeda. Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, a 32-year-old American citizen, traveled overseas, joined al Qaeda, and conspired to kill Americans, including through an attack using on a US military installation in in 2009, Assistant General for the National Security John C Demers. As proven at trial, in March 2007, Farekh and two co-conspirators, all of whom were students at the University of Manitoba, departed for with the intention of fighting against American forces overseas. "With the sentence handed down today, al Qaeda terrorist is being held accountable for his crimes," said Demers. Before traveling overseas, Farekh and his co-conspirators watched video recordings encouraging violent jihad, listened to jihadist lectures by now-deceased in the leader Anwar al-Awlaqi, and came to embrace a violent, extremist view of Islam, he said. Farekh and his co-conspirators traveled to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, an area in the northern part of that borders and is home to al-Qaeda's base of operations, where they joined and received training from Taking advantage of his familiarity with the West, Farekh became a member of, and ultimately ascended to, a leadership role within al-Qaeda's external operations group, which specialized in planning and executing attacks against the U. S. and its Western allies. In January 2009, Farekh helped to build a vehicle-borne, improvised (VBIED) that was used in an attack on Operating Base Chapman (FOB Chapman), a US military installation that served as the base for the US Provincial Reconstruction Team in Khost, On January 19, 2009, two explosives-laden vehicles approached the fence line of FOB Chapman.

At the gate, the first vehicle, a pickup-sized truck, exploded after its operator detonated the VBIED. The second vehicle, a truck that was carrying approximately 7,500 pounds of explosives, became stuck in the blast crater caused by the first explosion. The abandoned his vehicle without detonating the VBIED, and was shot and killed by local security personnel. The initial detonation of the first vehicle injured one US serviceman and numerous Afghan nationals. Forensic technicians recovered 18 latent fingerprints that were determined to be a match to Farekh from adhesive packing tape used to bind together the explosive materials of the second, undetonated VBIED. "Farekh, a citizen of this country, turned his back on by joining and trying to kill American soldiers in a bomb attack on a US military base in Afghanistan," stated "This case demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to ensure that those who seek to harm our country and our armed forces will be brought to justice," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 01:00 IST