Iraq man pleads guilty in Ky. terror case

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, an Iraqi living as a refugee in Bowling Green, Ky., is seen in this undated photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service.
AP Photo/U.S. Marshals Service via The Courier-Journal

(AP) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - An Iraqi man charged in Kentucky with supporting terrorism in his native country pleaded guilty just hours after a judge was told the government can prove he worked with insurgents to kill U.S. troops, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi pleaded guilty to 10 charges of conspiring to send weapons, money and explosives to al Qaeda in Iraq.

Hammadi on Tuesday also pleaded guilty to two counts of lying to the federal government about his association with a terrorist organization.

Hammadi will be sentenced Dec. 5 in Bowling Green, Ky., where he was arrested in May 2011 with a co-defendant. That man, Waad Ramadan Alwan, pleaded guilty earlier and will be sentenced Oct. 3.

Hammadi was to go to trial Aug. 28 on 12 charges, including attempting to send material support to a known terrorist organization.

U.S. Justice Department attorney Larry Schneider told U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell earlier Tuesday that the government has "definitive proof" linking Hammadi to insurgent attacks after the American-led invasion of Iraq.

"He was either part of Al Qaeda in Iraq or a group affiliated with Al Qaeda in Iraq," Schneider said during a pre-trial conference.

Prosecutors said Hammadi and Alwan came to Bowling Green, Ky., as refugees in 2009 and soon after began trying to send cash, guns, Stinger missiles and other explosives to al Qaeda in Iraq but were foiled by a government informant working on a sting.

Schneider said the government wanted to show a videotape of an insurgent bomb attack against a U.S. Army captain and he contended that Hammadi knew about the plan to attack.

"He knew it was going to happen because he was involved in a terrorist cell," Schneider told the judge.

The U.S. State Department estimated that al Qaeda in Iraq had about 1,000 core members in 2005 and about 10,000 affiliated fighters at its peak in 2010.