By Jim Kouri
An Iraqi citizen pleaded guilty in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to federal terrorism charges on Monday in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell, according to a report obtained by the Terrorism Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, a former resident of Iraq, pleaded guilty to all counts of a 23-count indictment charging him 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 improvised explosive devices (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.
Alwan was indicted by a federal grand jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on May 26, 2011.
Alwan faces a maximum sentence of life in prison under the sentencing guidelines and a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for April 3, 2012, at noon in federal court in Bowling Green before Judge Russell.
Alwan’s co-defendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 24, is charged in the same indictment 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. Hammadi has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges and is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. A trial date for him has not been scheduled. Hammadi and Alwan were first arrested on criminal complaints on May 25, 2011.
According to the plea agreement and other court documents filed in this case, from about 2003 through 2006, Alwan knowingly conspired to kill U.S. nationals in Iraq. During this period, Alwan was in Iraq where he conspired with others to plant and detonate numerous IEDs against U.S. troops in Iraq.
For instance, Alwan admitted that he and his co-conspirators planted an IED in a road near the Salah ad Din province in Iraq in an attempt to kill U.S. troops that traveled on this particular road. In addition, the FBI found two latent fingerprints belonging to Alwan on a component of a separate IED that was recovered by U.S. forces in Iraq in 2005.
Alwan also admitted Monday that from about October 2010 through May 2011, he knowingly taught and demonstrated to another individual in Kentucky how to manufacture and use an IED. Specifically, Alwan drew diagrams of different types of IEDs and also provided detailed oral instructions on how to manufacture and use those IEDs. He provided these diagrams with the intent that they be used to train others in the construction and use of such IEDs for the purpose of killing U.S. nationals overseas, including officers and employees of the United States.
In addition, Alwan admitted that from about September 2010 through May 2011, while in Kentucky, he knowingly attempted to provide material support and resources to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq, including money, weapons, and expert advice and assistance. On multiple occasions, for example, Alwan transferred money believing it would be provided to al Qaeda in Iraq for the purpose of murdering U.S. employees or U.S. nationals overseas.
In addition, he also transferred Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher systems, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, C4 plastic explosives, grenades, machine guns and sniper rifles, believing these items would be provided to al Qaeda in Iraq for the purpose of murdering of U.S. employees or U.S. nationals overseas.
Finally, Alwan admitted that on March 16, 2011, while in Kentucky, he conspired with another individual to transfer, receive, possess and export two Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher systems.
Neither the bomb-making instructions, nor the Stinger missiles nor the other weapons or money transferred by Alwan while in Kentucky were actually provided to al Qaeda in Iraq, but instead were carefully controlled by law enforcement as part of an undercover operation.