Texas Man Convicted of Helping Attack US Army Base in Afghanistan

Sergio Conner
October 1, 2017

Muhanad al Farekh was convicted Friday by a Brooklyn federal jury of aiding an attack on a US base in Afghanistan in 2009 and joining al-Qaida, following a two-week trial that featured fingerprint evidence the government said linked him to an undetonated truck bomb.

Mr. Ahmedzay took the stand against Mr. Farekh under a cooperation agreement with the government reached after he pleaded guilty in 2010 to planning an attack on the New York City subway system. U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York/Handout via REUTERS.

Farekh was convicted of conspiring to murder US nationals, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to bomb a government facility and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

They travelled to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, an area in the northern part of Pakistan that borders Afghani-stan and is home to al Qaeda's base of operations, where they joined and received training from al Qaeda, federal prosecutors alleged.

"Today, an American al-Qaeda member was brought to justice in a USA courtroom", said Bridget Rohde, the acting US attorney for the Eastern District of NY, using an alternate spelling for the militant group's name.

The plan in the 2009 Afghanistan attack, court records show, evidently was for the first truck to explode at the gate to the base while a second truck, following closely, carried "significantly more explosive ordinance" and was meant to detonate inside to "maximize casualties and damage".

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Medunjanin was convicted after trial and sentenced to life imprisonment.

An experienced team of terrorism prosecutors cause Brooklyn's federal court to be a magnet for terror cases.

Interestingly, Farekh nearly didn't have the opportunity to face the possibility of life in prison, as USA officials, specifically officials in the Central Intelligence Agency, were pushing to authorize a drone strike against him, but ultimately the Obama administration decided against the plan in favor of capture.

According to court papers, prior to travelling overseas to join al-Qaeda, Farekh was a student at the University of Manitoba in Canada. A second truck got stuck, and its bomb never exploded.

There was no immediate response from Farekh's lawyer, Sean Maher.

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