Two Yemenis have been charged in a New York district court with conspiring to attack U.S. troops and helping an American join al Qaeda.
The charges were revealed in a complaint and arrest warrant unsealed Tuesday against Saddiq Al-Abbadi, 36, and Ali Alvi, 30. They could face life in prison if convicted.
“There is no escape from the reach of our law for violent terrorists, especially if they target our military,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, who is also President Obama’s nominee for attorney general.
“Al-Abbadi and Alvi may have operated in the mountains of Afghanistan, but now they face justice in a courtroom in Brooklyn," she said.
Both men were arrested in Saudi Arabia and expelled to the U.S. The complaint says both men are believed to be members of al Qaeda who engaged in attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Al-Abbadi allegedly fought against U.S. troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2007. Both men traveled to the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan to train with and fight for al Qaeda, the complaint says, and during that time helped a U.S. citizen join al Qaeda to fight troops in Afghanistan.
In 2008, the two men went into Afghanistan and led a May battle during which an Army Ranger was killed and others were seriously wounded, according to the complaint.
Andrew McCabe, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, called the arrest and prosecution of the two men "a major step in the international cooperation to combat terrorism.