The latest in U.S. based terror plots:
Somali man pleads guilty to plot
Wednesday, August 1, 2007 3:30 AM
By Jodi Andes
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Nuradin Abdi, 35, is a Somali immigrant who was arrested in November 2003 and accused of a terrorist plot to blow up a Columbus mall. He was indicted in 2004 and pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Columbus.
1997: Abdi enters the United States from the United Arab Emirates.
April 27, 1999: Abdi applies to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, now the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for travel papers, saying he is going to Germany and then to visit a relative in Saudi Arabia. Authorities say he actually planned to travel to Ethiopia for training in the use of radios, guns, guerrilla warfare, bombs and more.
January 2000: Abdi travels to Ethiopia and Uganda.
March 25, 2000: Abdi returns to the United States. Iyman Faris picks him up at Port Columbus.
Aug. 6, 2002: Abdi meets with Faris and Christopher Paul at an Upper Arlington coffee shop. Abdi told investigators that he suggested that the three attack a shopping mall, which court records say Paul described as “a stupid idea.”
Oct. 28, 2003: A federal judge sentences Faris to 20 years in prison for conspiring with al-Qaida on an aborted plot to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge by cutting its suspension cables.
Nov. 28, 2003: Federal agents arrest Abdi at his North Side home. He is taken to his business, where his cell phone and computers are confiscated. He is charged with lying on his application to enter the United States. Officials also suspect him of being involved in a terrorist plot.
June 14, 2004: Federal officials announce that Abdi and Faris, an admitted al-Qaida member, plotted with Paul to bomb a mall, perhaps during the Christmas season. Abdi is indicted on federal charges of conspiring to support terrorism and falsifying travel documents.
Sept. 13, 2005: A federal judge says government agents appear to have arrested Abdi solely to interrogate him — making the arrest illegal and his statements off limits. But the government’s case remains intact because, two weeks later, Abdi repeated everything with an attorney at his side.
Sept. 22, 2006: An appeals court rules that federal agents legally arrested Abdi in 2003 and that his statements made in the days afterward can be used at trial.
April 11: A federal grand jury indicts Paul on charges of conspiring to support terrorists, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing support to terrorists. He is arrested outside his North Side apartment. Attorneys on both sides say that Paul, Abdi and Faris exchanged phone calls and e-mails and took trips together.
June 15: The Dispatch reports that in papers filed for Abdi’s upcoming terrorism trial, Abdi paints Paul and Faris as active terrorism supporters. Abdi describes himself as a fundamentalist who simply rubbed elbows with the pair.
July 6: Federal prosecutors tell a judge that Abdi told investigators he gave stolen credit-card numbers to Paul so he could buy gear for al-Qaida.
Yesterday: Abdi pleads guilty to one count of conspiring with terrorists, six days before his trial was to begin.
Nuradin Abdi smiled and laughed with his attorney before admitting in a federal court yesterday that he had worked with terrorists to help plot against the United States.
Abdi, who wanted to blow up a mall in the Columbus area, is expected to serve 10 years in prison and be deported to his native Somalia.
His conviction, though, could be a sign that there are others still to be named as members of the same terrorist cell.
Details brought to light yesterday show that the terror cell was bigger than a trio of local men possibly involved in it — Abdi, convicted terrorist Iyman Faris and Worthington native Christopher Paul — previously reported.
Documents filed yesterday in Abdi’s plea state there was at least one other terrorist that Abdi and Paul met with here and in Pittsburgh.
And after the plea, government officials acknowledged for the first time that other indictments of possible terrorists who were part of the cell are likely.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Dana Peters said.
Peters and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn Jones Hahnert would not comment on how many are believed to have operated out of the Columbus area.
“Some have left the country,” others are in prison on other charges, Peters said. “The investigation continues.”
…..”It’s better to minimize his losses,” defense attorney Mahir Sherif said. A fair trial here would not be possible because Americans “have no or limited understanding” of why Muslims are angry, Sherif said.
The terrorism plot was little more than rants by three Muslims who were angry with the Iraqi war and problems in Afghanistan, he said.
“There was nothing they were going to carry out,” Sherif said.
But prosecutors say that was only because they were stopped.
Abdi, 35, of the North Side, was indicted on four counts — two of conspiring to help terrorists and two of lying or forging paperwork to get U.S. travel documents.
….What Abdi was planning were not idle rants, as the defense claimed, but “significant public-safety threats,” Peters said.
In court, Abdi admitted he traveled to Kenya and Somalia in 2000 in hopes of attending terrorist-training camps. The camp in Kenya, though, no longer existed, and Abdi told federal agents he couldn’t find the camp in Somalia.
A year later, he stole credit-card numbers from a cell-phone store where he worked and gave them to Paul.
Paul wanted to use the credit-card numbers to buy laptop computers for Muslims fighting the “holy war” in Afghanistan, Abdi told agents.
Abdi also knew that Paul was gathering equipment to send overseas, including a scanner to make false passports.
“It goes beyond hot air when steps are taken in preparation. You don’t wait for the fuse to be lit,” Peters said of arresting Abdi before he chose which local mall to target. In addition, prosecutors noted, Faris — who is serving a 20-year sentence for his involvement with the group — worked with others in Virginia who wanted to conduct simultaneous missile attacks on the Capitol, Pentagon and White House.
Abdi’s plea does not affect the case against Paul, the only American-born member of the cell who is scheduled for trial in January 2009, Hahnert said.
After the plea, Sherif said the case should prompt people to ask: Why do Muslims hate Americans?”I’m angry. If 1 million Americans were being slaughtered, that would be a different issue,” Sherif said, of Iraqis killed in the war.
Yeah, Sherif, we don’t understand the nuance of a Muslim scumbag planning to bomb a Mall full of people. What makes this even worse is that this waste of skin is being supported by a U.S. attorney with more empathy toward Islamofascist pigs who blow up ‘infidels’ in the name of Allah than he does for the innocent victims. He actually got off light with only a 10 year sentence, and it’s doubtful he’ll serve all of it. Why, with good behavior he’ll be out in 3 to 5 and back to building bombs in no time, or taking flying lessons.
Sherif touts the al Qadea party line without a hitch:
Mahir Sherif says Nuradin Abdi was worried about a jury’s reaction given the country’s current mood.
He says Abdi would not have faced a jury of his peers but rather people with only limited understanding of the issues surrounding the war on terror.
The ICE weighs in on Abdi:
Government documents allege that Abdi re-entered the United States from Africa in March 2000 using a U.S. immigration document gained through fraud. Abdi had previously obtained the travel document after concealing his planned travels to Africa to obtain training in “violent jihad,” the indictment alleges.
Upon returning to Ohio, Abdi was met at the Columbus airport by Iyman Faris, a convicted al Qaeda operative now serving a 20-year prison sentence for plotting to sever the cables of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and plotting to derail trains in Washington. Abdi and Faris allegedly initiated a plot to blow up a Columbus area shopping mall. The indictment alleges that Abdi received bomb-making instructions from one of the co-conspirators.
ICE agents detained Abdi on immigration violations on Nov. 28, 2003 after keeping watch on him during the Thanksgiving holiday. Over the next few months, these agents worked closely with the FBI and with ICE’s National Security Law Division and National Security Investigations Division at Headquarters to bring a criminal case against Abdi.
Sherif really unleashed his hatred for the United States in a full blown rant during a press conference: (Excerpts)
SHERIF: ….I honestly don’t believe that this rises to the level of a conspiracy that they are talking about. I mean it’s just a bunch of people talking and he wanted to go and help out Muslims, just like the United States encouraged all these guys to go and help the Muslims fight the Russians. Right? So, why’s it right when the United States chooses to engage all these Muslims to go fight the Russians, but when the Muslim want to help their brothers, what’s so wrong about that? This is hypocritical again, isn’t it? This is what the world is pissed off about the United States is this hypocrisy. You can fight for us – it is not a crime. You fight for your Muslims it’s a crime.
REPORTER: But, wasn’t he pleading guilty to a threat against a shopping mall here?
SHERIF: No, no, no. If you heard it correctly, it said they talkedabout that. Arora can speak to that.
REPORTER: To help Christopher Paul?
SHERIF: Well it’s Christopher Paul and Iyman Harris and him and you know. They talked and yeah, he went to go get training. We didn’t deny that. He went to Somalia. He tried to go to Kosov. He tried to go to Bosnia. You know we didn’t deny that. There are some facts we can’t deny. They talked. There was a range finder obviously. So, in this climate an American jury we felt could potentially find him guilty because of all this negative stuff that’s coming in and if they found him guilty he was looking at spending the rest of his life in custody. So, the government came back with another offer, so he decided ah.. to take it.”
REPORTER: Does Mr. Abdi plan to testify against other co-conspirators?
SHERIF: No. That was actually the point he had always not wanted to do because it violates Islamic principals to testify against other Muslims. So he said, “I am a Muslim. I’m not going to go in front of the government and testify against any other Muslims.
REPORTER: Why was he so angry about the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan? What was it that so angered about him that he wanted to carryout …
SHERIF I AM ANGRY AT THAT WAR! AREN’T YOU ANGRY? A MILLION IRAQIS HAVE BEEN SLAUGHTERED BY OUR BOMBS! YOU’RE NOT ANGRY ABOUT THAT??
REPORTER: But you didn’t plan to kill Americans.
SHERIF: No, no, no! That’s a different issue. ‘Why are you angry?’ was the question. I am angry. A million Iraqis! If a million Americans were slaughtered today, are you going to get pissed off? Sure you’re going to get pissed off. So wait a minute…
REPORTER: We wouldn’t conspire to blow up a mall or kill people.
SHERIF: That’s a different issue. You’re asking why is he angry and I’m answering your question. If a million Americans were slaughtered today, you’d get pissed off. But not all Americans would go and try to bomb a mall. But some of them might.
REPORTER1: Why would he do that? Why would he decide to take innocent life?
SHERIF: Look… life, life – life is life. Life is life. An Iraqi life is just as good as an American life. When American bombs are slaughtering innocent Iraqis, Americans are saying ‘Muslims should not get pissed’. I don’t understand this logic. I mean, these are human beings we’re talking about and Muslims are going to get pissed if you go and slaughter them. Simple!
….REPORTER: But the government says that he planned.. that he had co-conspirators that planned to use an AK 47 to shoot up a shopping mall.
…..REPORTER2: Why would he say that Mr. Sherif if that never happened?
…..SHERIF: It’s better to minimize your losses. He has a life ahead of him. Let’s face it; with all due respect to America and Americans, the jury he was going to face are not his peers. We’re not talking about a bunch of Somalis coming in to hear the case. We’re talking the Bible Belt. We’re talking people who have no understanding – excuse me – maybe limited understanding – some of them of some of the issues and who have a lot of maybe negative feelings about Islam and Muslims as a whole. Therefore he decided to minimize his losses.
REPORTER: Did he admit that on his trip to Ethiopia he was in search of a training camp?
SHERIF: Yes, yes. That was in search of a training camp. But remember, you guys have to remember this: When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 it is because we set what is called the ‘Soviet Trap’. You know, the ‘Afghan Trap’ for the Soviets to come in. We, the United States did that. Okay? So the Soviets came in. Then we encouraged the Muslim world to go and fight the Russians. We did this. Are we taking any responsibility for this? So in other words there is nothing wrong about going to training if you’re going to fight for Americans against Russians. But if you are going to go train to help your Muslim brothers, there’s something wrong.
REPORTER: So how do you define him? They called him a terrorist. Do you?
REPORTER: How do you define this man?
SHERIF: Well, terrorism is a complex issue. You know? If you read you read some authors they would tell you that the United States is a terrorist state. So terrorism is a difficult question.
REPORTER: Yes, because there are other co-conspirators alleged as I said. So the evidence they would have presented could have been of interest to the American public. What specifically were you looking to see?
SHERIF: It could have. I think the American public, if anything .. (laugh) I keep coming back to this. The American should go read about the war in Afghanistan. Should go read , and really I mean this. I don’t support terrorism, and I don’t support the killing of civilians be it by Bin Ladin or by American bombs. Okay? They both slaughter! Now, with that said: The American public needs to go and say ‘why are they angry’. And really, if you read Bin Ladins words you can see why people are angry. They are angry because America is doing things they should not be doing! That’s why they’re angry! But we are not talking about that. We’re just talking about Islamic radicalism. Why can’t we talk about imperial radicalism that has been subjecting Muslims to hardship for the last 50 years? We need to start talking about that!
Know what, Sherif? Americans are angry too. We’re kinda pissed that the ‘peacful religion of Islam’ propagates violence, terrorism, and subjugation of the entire free world. We’re also enraged that a muslim extremist attorney resides in a democratic country he despises and defends clients that are just as deplorable as him. If you (and your terrorist clients) aspire to a brutal theocracy, then by all means move to an Islamic state of your choice.
When it comes to ‘slaughter’ the al Qadea has a special corner on that market. If there’s been a “million Iraqis” killed, and it certainly hasn’t happened since 2003, he can thank his fellow Muslims for accumulating that body count long before we invaded.
He tries to cloud the issue by trying to draw a parallel between U.S. involvement during the Soviet-Afghan war and the war against Islamofascism, as if this justifies the atrocities the Muslims commited against the West. Sherif forgets that the Russians invaded Afghanistan because of its rebellion against the Russian-backed Communist government in Kabul. On the other hand, The Muslims attacked us because they hate who and what we are, and what we stand for. They hate us because of our prosperity, strength, democracy, and our religious and secular freedoms. They despise and envy what their doctine forbids.
That’s why the miserable raghead sons of bitches hate everyone, including their own contempable existance.
If Sherif wants to give lectures on ‘radicalism’ he can start with the nearest Mosque. His accusations are ass-backwards. They fired the first volley in this war, we will finish it.