Guilty Plea in Mall Plot
Posted Aug 1, 2007 8:53 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Somali has pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists in a plot to blow up an Ohio shopping mall.
Nuradin Abdi smiled and laughed with his lawyer before entering the guilty plea yesterday in Columbus federal court, reports the Columbus Dispatch. He is expected to receive a 10-year sentence, the Associated Press reports.
Federal prosecutors contended Abdi suggested the bomb plot in a coffeeshop meeting with two other suspects. One of the two, Iyman Faris, is serving a 20-year sentence for pleading guilty in a conspiracy to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. The other, Christopher Paul, has been accused of planning to bomb European tourist resorts.
Prosecutors also claimed Abdi traveled to Kenya and Somalia to find terrorist training camps.
Abdi’s lawyer claims the terrorist plot was only talk among three angry Muslims that would never have been carried out.
The Dispatch reports that the terrorist cell may have included at least one more suspect, according to court papers. Asked if other indictments are possible, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dana Peters replied, “I wouldn’t be surprised.”