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Iraqi pleads guilty to charges involving sending arms to al Qaeda in Iraq

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Department Producer
updated 6:52 PM EDT, Tue August 21, 2012

(CNN) -- An Iraqi man living in Kentucky pleaded guilty in federal court in Bowling Green on Tuesday to a series of charges involving plotting to help al Qaeda in Iraq.

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 24, pleaded guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda in Iraq, including the export from the United States of Stinger missiles.

Hammadi was arrested in May 2011 along with Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, in Bowling Green, where both men resided. Alwan pleaded guilty to a string of terror-related charges last December, and is awaiting sentencing.

The two Iraqi citizens admit they targeted U.S. forces in their homeland, according to court documents, but the charges Hammadi pleaded guilty to Tuesday all involved actions after he arrived in the United States in July 2009.

The charging documents allege that Hammadi told an undercover agent that when he lived in Iraq he had participated in improvised-explosive-device attacks targeting the U.S. military.

After arriving in the United States, the men told an FBI undercover agent they wanted to provide weapons and explosives to al Qaeda in Iraq, the documents say. In 2010 and early 2011, Hammadi and Alwan provided sniper rifles, C4 plastic explosives, and two Stinger missiles to a truck they believed would be shipped to al Qaeda in Iraq. Authorities say none of the weapons were ever shipped, and remained under control of the FBI.

Hammadi pleaded guilty to 12 counts, including four counts of aiding al Qaeda in Iraq. He will face a sentence of from 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on December 5.

Alwan also faces up to a life sentence. The charges he pleaded guilty to included counts of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad.

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