An al Qaeda operative from Yemen has pleaded guilty to terrorism conspiracy charges. Saddiq al-Abbadi is accused of planning to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to a statement Tuesday from federal prosecutors in New York, Abbadi admitted that he had provided material support to the terrorist group. There is a possibility that the Yemeni man may receive a life sentence. Abbadi is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25.
The 40-year-old admitted that he had fought against the United States from 2005 to 2009. He said that the intention behind fighting was to wound, hurt or kill U.S. forces, ABC News reported. Abbadi also admitted that he had served al Qaeda as a member.
Abbadi was arrested with another man in Saudi Arabia. He was later moved to U.S. custody after serving five years of a 12-year prison term in Saudi Arabia. Ali Alvi, the other arrested man, has not pleaded guilty.
According to prosecutors, Abbadi moved to Iraq from his native Yemen and worked with forces backed by al Qaeda. He worked with senior al Qaeda members after traveling to Pakistan in 2008. Then, he moved to Afghanistan to fight against U.S. troops.
Abbadi tried booby-trapping a compound in Afghanistan. However, U.S. troops managed to notice the wiring as well as the ordnance nearby. The area was destroyed after the troops had left it without getting hurt.
According to acting U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie, Abbadi was "a high-level al Qaeda operative with ties to the terrorist group's senior leadership in both Pakistan and Yemen," CNN quoted Currie as saying. “He fought in battles against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, tried to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan by luring them to a compound rigged with explosives, and helped an American citizen gain entry to al Qaeda."
Prosecutors also alleged that Abaddi had helped Bryant Vinas get al Qaeda membership. The Long Island, New York, man later became a cooperating government witness after he was arrested for planning an attack on the Long Island Railroad.
Vinas pleaded guilty to charges related to helping al Qaeda launch an attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2008.