Ohio Jihad. “Ally of al-Qaida terrorist admits to conspiracy in mall plot,” by Andrew Welsh-Huggins for AP (thanks to Patrick Poole):
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Map, News) – A Somali immigrant the government says plotted to blow up an Ohio shopping mall pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
Nuradin Abdi, 35, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley a week before the expected Aug. 6 start of his trial. He answered each of the judge’s questions with a quiet, ‘Yes, Your Honor.’
Under a plea deal, Abdi is expected to receive a 10-year sentence on the count, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years. Three additional charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.
The Justice Department accused Abdi of suggesting the plan to attack an unidentified Columbus shopping mall during an August 2002 coffee shop meeting with now-convicted al-Qaida terrorist Iyman Faris and a third suspect, Christopher Paul.
Faris is serving 20 years in a maximum-security federal prison in Florence, Colo., for his role in an al-Qaida plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. Faris scouted the bridge and told al-Qaida its plans wouldn’t work, court papers have said.
Federal agents arrested Abdi the morning of Nov. 28, 2003, the day after Thanksgiving, out of fear the attack would be carried out on the heavy shopping day. He was arrested at 6 a.m. while leaving his Columbus home for morning prayers.
Prosecutors say Abdi gave stolen credit card numbers to a man accused of buying gear for al-Qaida, and lied on immigration documents to visit a jihadist training camp.