Louisville: Two Iraqis living
in Kentucky have been arrested on charges that they tried to
send sniper rifles, stinger missiles and money to al Qaeda
operatives in their home country, according to court documents
unsealed on Wednesday.
Thirty-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan and 23-year-old
Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, who both have lived in bowling green
since 2009, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by
a federal grand jury Thursday. Neither is charged with
plotting attacks within the United States, and authorities say
their weapons and money didn`t make it to Iraq because of a
tightly controlled undercover investigation.
Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill a United
States national, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass
destruction and attempting to provide material support to
terrorists. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide
material support to terrorists and knowingly transferring,
possession or exporting a device designed or intended to
launch or guide a rocket or missile.
The indictment and criminal complaints were unsealed
today after the pair made their initial appearances in federal
court in Louisville. Both men entered pleas of not guilty and
were remanded to federal custody.
Hammadi`s court-appointed attorney, James Earhart of
Louisville, said he doesn`t know much about the case or his
client beyond what is in the criminal complaint.
"I haven`t had a chance to sit down and talk with him
yet," Earhart told The Associated Press on today afternoon.
Federal Public Defender Scott Wendelsdorf, who represents
Alwan, declined comment. The charging documents also allege that Hammadi had
also discussed his prior experience as an insurgent in Iraq.
According to the charging documents, beginning in
September 2010, Alwan expressed interest in providing support
to terrorists in Iraq.
The source explained that he shipped money and
weapons to the mujahidin in Iraq by secreting them in vehicles
sent from the United States.
Thereafter, Alwan allegedly participated in
operations to provide money, weapons including machine guns,
rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Stinger missiles, and C4
plastic explosives as well as IED diagrams and advice on the
construction of IEDs to what he believed were the mujahidin
attacking US troops in Iraq.
In 2010 and early 2011, Alwan allegedly picked up
machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers from a
storage facility in Kentucky and delivered them to a
designated location believing they would be shipped to al
Qaeda in Iraq.