Filings: Alleged attack plotter lied on passport application

Munir Abdulkader
Munir Abdulkader

CINCINNATI (AP) — New court filings indicate a southwest Ohio man accused of plotting attacks against a U.S. military official and a local police station had hoped to travel to Syria and attain martyrdom but lied on a passport application and hid his plans from his parents, who had wanted him to be a chemist.

The filings made ahead of Munir Abdulkader’s sentencing, scheduled for Friday, reveal more details about the West Chester man’s purported plans, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The documents indicate that the January 2015 arrest of Christopher Cornell, who was accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of the Islamic State and later pleaded guilty to charges, was among factors that prompted Abdulkader to change his plans about traveling and focus on domestic targets.

Investigators say the 22-year-old Abdulkader communicated with a member of the Islamic State and plotted to abduct and kill a military employee and attack a police station that wasn’t identified.

He pleaded guilty in March to attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, material support of a foreign terrorist organization and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.

He was arrested in a Mason parking lot in May 2015 after buying an AK-47 rifle in an arrangement set up by a confidential government source.

A former CIA operations officer who has written extensively about terrorist organizations claims Abdulkader was unfairly set up, the newspaper reported. In a document filed in court, Marc Sageman argues that the FBI’s use of that confidential source gave Abdulkader means to commit an attack and that he wasn’t enabled to carry out without the government’s involvement.

That argument doesn’t fly with prosecutors. They argue that Abdulkader had been in contact with an Islamic State operative before the confidential informant contacted him. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman also suggested that Sageman, the author of a book titled “Misunderstanding Terrorism,” is biased and “rewrote the facts.”

 

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