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US citizen sentenced to 45 years for supporting al-Qaeda

14 Mar 2018 | By Rajashree Seal
US: Man supporting al-Qaeda sentenced to 45 years

An American citizen has been sentenced to 45 years of imprisonment on Tuesday for conspiring to kill US nationals and providing support to al-Qaeda.

Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, a 32-year-old American citizen, received his training in Pakistan's tribal areas and traveled overseas, joined al-Qaeda, and conspired to kill Americans, including an attack using explosive devices on a US military installation in Afghanistan in 2009.

In context: US: Man supporting al-Qaeda sentenced to 45 years

14 Mar 2018US citizen sentenced to 45 years for supporting al-Qaeda

TrialFarekh went to Pakistan to fight against American forces

As proven at trial, in March 2007, Farekh and two co-conspirators, all of whom were students at the University of Manitoba, departed Canada for Pakistan with the intention of fighting against American forces overseas.

"With the sentence handed down today, al-Qaeda terrorist Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh is being held accountable for his crimes," said Assistant Attorney General for the National Security John C Demers.

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Used jihadist lectures, videos to embrace violent, extremist view

TrainingUsed jihadist lectures, videos to embrace violent, extremist view

Before traveling overseas, Farekh and his co-conspirators watched video recordings encouraging violent jihad, listened to jihadist lectures and came to embrace a violent, extremist view of Islam.

They traveled to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, an area in the northern part of Pakistan that borders Afghanistan and is home to al-Qaeda's base of operations, where they joined and received training from al-Qaeda.

Farekh's roleBeing familiar with the West, Farekh got a leadership role

Taking advantage of his familiarity with the West, Farekh got a leadership role within al-Qaeda's external operations group, which specialized in planning and executing attacks against the US and its Western allies.

In January 2009, Farekh helped to build a vehicle-borne, improvised explosive device that was used in an attack on the Forward Operating Base Chapman, a US military installation in Khost, Afghanistan.

SentencingFarekh turned his back on America by joining al-Qaeda

"Farekh, a citizen of this country, turned his back on America by joining al-Qaeda and trying to kill American soldiers on a US military base in Afghanistan," stated US Attorney Richard Donoghue.

"This case demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to ensure that those who seek to harm our country and our armed forces will be brought to justice," he said.