US citizen pleads guilty to aiding al Qaeda

Khalid Ouazzani has admitted to have provided over USD 23,000 to al Qaeda.

Updated: May 20, 2010, 09:33 AM IST

Washington: A Moroccan-origin US citizen has pleaded guilty before a US court to providing material support to al Qaeda, adding to the growing list of recent cases of naturalised American nationals involved in terror activities.

Khalid Ouazzani, 32, a naturalised citizen of the United States, swore an oath of allegiance to al Qaeda in June 2008 and has admitted to have personally provided more than USD 23,000 to the terrorist organisation, US Attorney for Western District of Missouri, Beth Phillips said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Justice Department said Ouazzani, of Kansas City, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before US District Judge Howard F Sachs to a federal information that charges him with conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organisation.

Ouazzani also pleaded guilty to charges contained in an indictment that was returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on February 03, 2010.

He, further, admitted of participating in a conspiracy to provide material support or resources to al Qaeda from August 2007 to February 2010.

"Ouazzani had conversations with others about various ways to support al Qaeda, including plans for them to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia," the Justice Department said.

According to the Justice Department, Ouazzani agreed to contribute USD 6,500 to al Qaeda in August 2007.

A co-conspirator, who is not identified in court documents, made that payment on Ouazzani`s behalf.

He repaid the co-conspirator in November 2007 through a wire transfer to the co-conspirators bank account in the UAE.

"Those funds came from Ouazzani`s sale of his business, Hafssa LLC, doing business as Truman Used Auto Parts, a retail operation that bought and sold used auto parts and used motor vehicles," the statement said.

The 32-year-old agreed to pay USD 17,000, which represented his profit from the sale of an apartment in the UAE that was owned by him and a co-conspirator, to al Qaeda in June or July 2008, it added.