Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Bomb Targets in Europe and the United States

WASHINGTON , June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Christopher Paul , aka "Abdul Malek," aka "Paul Kenyatta Laws," a 44-year-old U.S. citizen born in Columbus, Ohio , has pleaded guilty today to conspiring with others to use a weapon of mass...


WASHINGTON , June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Christopher Paul , aka "Abdul Malek," aka "Paul Kenyatta Laws," a 44-year-old U.S. citizen born in Columbus, Ohio , has pleaded guilty today to conspiring with others to use a weapon of mass destruction, namely explosive devices, against targets in Europe and the United States in violation of 18 USC, Section 2332a.

The guilty plea, which was entered today in the Southern District of Ohio , was announced by Patrick Rowan , Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Gregory G. Lockhart , U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio ; and Executive Assistant Director Arthur M. Cummings, II , of the FBI's National Security Branch.

On April 11, 2007 , Paul was arrested in Ohio pursuant to a three-count indictment alleging that he conspired to provide material support and resources to terrorists; conspired to use a weapon of mass destruction; and provided material support and resources to terrorists. In pleading guilty to count two of the indictment, Paul has agreed to a sentence of 20 years in prison. The government has agreed to dismiss counts one and three of the indictment. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation report.

"Today's guilty plea brings an end to the long, dangerous career of Christopher Paul , an Ohio native who joined al Qaeda in the early 1990s, fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia and conspired with others to target Americans both at home and abroad," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Rowan. "His conviction demonstrates our continuing resolve to protect the American public against terrorism."

"This guilty plea is a significant step forward in the war on terror," U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Lockhart said. "The hard work by the Columbus FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has resulted in three significant terrorism convictions, showing that all parts of the country must be involved in our national efforts."

"No one agency can accomplish the immense task of protecting U.S. national security from terrorism," said Executive Assistant Director Arthur M. Cummings, II , of the FBI's National Security Branch. "The conviction of Christopher Paul was the result of a five-year, worldwide investigation with great cooperation from multiple federal, state and local agencies serving on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Columbus . Together, with our partners in law enforcement and assistance from the public, we can stop terrorists from infiltrating our communities."

By pleading guilty to count two of the indictment, Paul admitted that from at least April 1999 through January 2000 , he agreed with at least one other person to become a member of a conspiracy which intended to use a weapon of mass destruction, namely explosive devices, against one or more of the following: U.S. nationals outside the United States ; persons or property within the United States affecting interstate or foreign commerce; and/or property that was owned, leased or used by the United States .

According to a statement of facts read by the case agent during the change of plea hearing and acknowledged to be true by the defendant:

In the early 1990s, Paul traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to join the mujahedeen. At an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan , he received initial training in, among other things, the use of assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and small unit tactics. After successfully completing this training, he joined al Qaeda and stayed at the Beit ur Salam guesthouse, which was exclusively for al Qaeda members. Having distinguished himself to al Qaeda, Paul was then selected for and obtained advanced training in explosives, climbing, and military history. Paul then fought in Afghanistan alongside other mujahedeen.

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