Syrian National Convicted for Conspiring to Kill American Soldiers in Iraq
Arizona 3.17.2018 – Ahmed Alahmedalabdaloklah, a Syrian national who had been living in Iraq, was convicted by a jury, following a six-week trial, of conspiring and supporting the 1920s Revolutionary Brigades, an insurgent group that planted road-side bombs to attack and kill American soldiers in Iraq. A jury convicted Alahmedalabdaloklah on Conspiracy to Use a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Conspiring to Maliciously Damage or Destroy United States Property by Means of an Explosive, Aiding and Abetting Other Persons to Possess a Destructive Device in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, and Conspiracy to Possess a Destructive Device in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence. Sentencing is set for June 5, 2018 before District Judge Roslyn O. Silver.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, Elizabeth A. Strange, First Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Arizona, and Michael Deleon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Phoenix Field Office, made the announcement.
“Alahmedalabdaloklah conspired with a violent Iraqi insurgent group to kill American soldiers in Iraq,” said First Assistant Strange. “Today’s verdict underscores our commitment to use every available resource to bring justice to American soldiers who were killed or injured by such terrorist acts. I commend the FBI and the prosecution team for their tremendous efforts in securing this conviction.”
“The FBI’s highest priority is preventing acts; both in the United States and abroad,” said Phoenix FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael DeLeon. “We want to thank the Department of Justice and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, agents, analysts, and both local and foreign partners for working together to bring Ahmed Alahmedalabdaloklah to justice. This is a prime example of the FBI’s commitment to pursuing justice even in the most complex and difficult cases. The FBI also wants to voice our sympathy and condolences to the victims, their families and friends. The FBI will continue our mission of preventing terrorist acts and pursuing those who plan to do us harm. “
Between 2006 and 2011, United States soldiers were deployed to Iraq to support the fledgling Iraqi government and to provide security to the Iraqi people. Multiple insurgent groups, including the 1920 Revolution Brigades (“1920s”), opposed the Iraqi government and committed violent acts in an effort to destabilize Iraq and expel American forces from the country. American soldiers faced daily attacks from snipers, small team ambushes, and deadly improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”) planted along major military supply routes.
Alahmedalabdaloklah supported the 1920s by designing, making, and supplying parts for remote-controlled IED initiator switches for roadside bombs. In August 2006, during a search and seizure weapons clearing mission, American soldiers located an apartment in Baghdad that had been converted into an IED switch-making factory. Soldiers seized numerous items used to detonate IEDs, including receivers, transmitters, cell phones, key fobs, modified hands-free headsets, and ready-to-use IED switches. Over a thousand finger and palm prints belonging to Alahmedalabdaloklah were discovered on the items found there, including instructions for making IEDs.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Trial Attorney Joseph Kaster from the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Pimsner, Melissa Karlen, and Bill Solomon, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona.