Al Qaeda member pleads guilty to plotting to kill Americans

Al Qaeda member pleads guilty to plotting to kill Americans

A Yemeni man linked to al Qaeda pleaded guilty on Tuesday to plotting to kill Americans abroad and provide assistance to the terrorist group.

According to the Justice Department, Saddiq al-Abbadi assisted al Qaeda forces fighting U.S. soldiers during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and also encouraged an American man to turn against his home country. 

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He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

“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,” acting U.S. attorney Kelly Currie said in a statement. “We stand resolute in our commitment to bring to justice those who would try to harm members of our military or who assist al Qaeda’s efforts to kill Americans at home or abroad.”

Al-Abbadi was arrested in Saudi Arabia earlier this year along with Ali Alvi, a fellow Yemeni man alleged to be a member of al Qaeda. Both men were sent to the U.S. to face charges

The Justice Department outlined al-Abbadi's movements over the last decade: In 2003, he traveled to Iraq to fight alongside al Qaeda-affiliated groups combating U.S. troops and Blackwater security contractors. In 2008, he moved to the semi-autonomous Northwest tribal areas of Pakistan, where he made inroads with top-ranking al Qaeda leaders.

In June of 2008, he rigged a compound in Ghazni, Afghanistan, with explosives, but U.S. forces detected the trap before the bombs could go off.

Additionally, al-Abbadi was influential in getting an American man named Bryant Neal Vinas to leave his home in Long Island and travel to Pakistan to join al Qaeda, the Justice Department said. Vinas pleaded guilty in connection with a planned attack on the Long Island Railroad system; he was arrested before he could carry out the plot.