October 24, 2016

Man who ‘supported Al Qaeda’ begs judge to halt case because he could face DEATH PENALTY

AN AMERICAN accused of supporting Al Qaeda could face the death penalty after being charged with conspiracy to kill US citizens in a 2009 car bomb attack.

Fingerprints of suspected terrorist Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh were found on a bomb allegedly ready to be used in a car at U.S military base in Afghanistan.

Farekh pleaded not guilty to the role of preparing one of the two bombs but could face the death penalty based on new evidence, claim prosecutors.

They say two co-conspirators drove vehicles to the base – the first man detonated his explosive, but the second did not.

Farekh’s fingerprints were recovered from packing tape on the second explosive, officials said.

US Attorney Zainab Ahmad said: “We expect in a month or two we’ll know what we can prove.”

Seth Maher, Al Farekh’s lawyer, said the announcement meant the Texas-born man could face “potential death-eligible counts.”

He pleaded with US District Judge Brian Cogan to limit prosecutors from continuing to expand the case.

It was first announced in April 2015 after Al Farekh was flown to the United States from Pakistan where he was detained.

Maher said: “It seems to me seven years is more than enough time to consider if a death can be added to these charges.”

The hearing came after prosecutors unveiled a revised nine-count indictment on Wednesday charging Al Farekh with conspiring to murder Americans, use a weapon of mass destruction, bomb a government facility and aid al Qaeda.

He was initially accused of conspiring to support al Qaeda by traveling with two fellow students from the University of Manitoba to Pakistan with the intention of fighting against American forces.

The other university students Al Farekh traveled with in 2007 included Ferid Imam, who has also been indicted and whose whereabouts are unknown.

Prosecutors said Imam provided training at an al Qaeda camp in Pakistan in 2008 to Najibullah Zazi and two other men later convicted of plotting a bombing attack in the New York City subway system.

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