Qatari Man Admits Helping 9/11 Attacks
1 May 09 | PTV
A Qatari man held in US military custody for years has pleaded guilty to supporting the architects of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri admitted on Thursday to one count of conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
A second charge of providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization was dropped.
He also pleaded guilty to training in al Qaeda camps in Pakistan and coming to the US on a mission for al Qaeda the day before the 9/11 attacks.
Jeffrey Lang, acting US attorney for the Central District of Illinois, said al-Marri “admitted that he came here as an al-Qaeda operative the day before the Sept. 11 attacks to plan and prepare for future acts of terrorism within” the US.
He also admitted having contact with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and with Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, chief financier of the attacks.
In late 2001, al-Marri was arrested while studying at Bradley in Peoria after federal authorities alleged he was tied to organizers of the 2001 attacks.
The Bush administration declared al-Marri an “enemy combatant” in 2003 and held him without charges for more than five years at a Navy brig in South Carolina. His attorneys say he was tortured there.
The “enemy combatant” designation was dropped when he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Illinois.
The charge against the al Qaeda man carries up to 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for July 30.
The Qatari’s attorneys said their client chose to plead guilty to avoid the risk, if found guilty, of spending 30 years in prison.