A federal indictment unsealed today by the Justice Department describes the activities of two former insurgents who allegedly participated in numerous attacks against US soldiers in Iraq. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, appeared today in a Kentucky federal court after being arrested in Bowling Green, Ky. on May 25, 2011. The two men were named in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury the following day. From the Justice Department:
Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of IEDs; attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al-Qaeda in Iraq; as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles.
The FBI began its investigation into Alwan in September 2009, nearly a year and a half before Hammadi was implicated in the case. A confidential informant working for the FBI played a key role in the investigation, eventually recording multiple conversations with the accused in which they described their roles with the insurgency in Iraq. The details disclosed in the DOJ press release reveal Alwan’s activities as an insurgent from 2003 to May of 2006, when he was captured by Iraqi forces. During that time Alwan claimed to have “f–ked up” Hummers using IEDs hundreds of times with his insurgent group that conducted daily attacks against US forces. The other defendant, Hammadi, also had fought as an insurgent in Iraq; he allegedly told the informant that he had been arrested in Iraq when the car he was in got a flat tire shortly after he had planted an IED.
The recordings implicating Alwan are corroborated with evidence recovered by US forces in Iraq. In one conversation, Alwan allegedly told the informant that while in Iraq he worked at a power plant close to the city of Bayji. US forces had previously uncovered an unexploded IED in the same area and were able to recover fingerprints from the device that matched Alwan’s, which were provided by the FBI.
Alwan and Hammadi both entered the United States in 2009. A little more than a year after their arrival, the FBI’s informant had made contact with Alwan and began discussing ways to support terrorist activities in Iraq. For nearly a year, Alwan believed he was providing money, machine guns, RPGs, Stinger missiles, and plastics explosives to al Qaeda in Iraq – all of which were a part of the FBI’s sting operation. Alwan then recruited Hammadi, whom he referred to as a relative to the informant, to assist him in the operation, in which they continued to attempt to send money and weapons to al Qaeda for the months leading up to their arrest last week.
Each faces a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted of all the charges in the indictment. Both defendants were closely monitored by federal law enforcement authorities in the months leading up to their arrests. Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States.
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