Al Qaeda Member Sentenced to Life
for Conspiring to Bomb
YORK, New York (FBI) — Michael Garcia, the United States Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, and Mark Mershon, the Assistant
of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
announced that Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, a/k/a "Abu Hafs al Kuwaiti," a/k/a "Sammy," was
sentenced in Manhattan federal court to life in prison on multiple terrorism
conspiracy charges. On July 30, 2002, Jabarah, an admitted member of al
Qaeda, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his participation in a plot
United States Embassies in Singapore and the Philippines.
In 2000 and
early 2001, Jabarah trained in al Qaeda-run terrorist camps
in Afghanistan. At these camps, he completed training courses
in city warfare, mountain warfare, and advanced shooting, and
learned how to use various weapons and identify explosives.
Jabarah also spent time with Taliban forces on the front lines,
and, in the spring and early summer of 2001, Jabarah met and
spent time with Usama Bin Laden. Jabarah then joined al Qaeda,
swearing al Qaeda’s oath of allegiance, known as bayat, to
Bin Laden personally.
assigned Jabarah to participate in a terrorist operation in
Southeast Asia and, to that end, dispatched Jabarah to meet
with senior al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ("KSM")
in Karachi, Pakistan. Jabarah stayed with KSM in Karachi for
three weeks beginning in mid-August 2001. During that time,
Jabarah received advanced terrorist training in stealth travel
and surveillance techniques. Jabarah was also introduced to,
and later extensively met with and took direction from, Riduan
Isomuddin, known as "Hambali" ("Hambali"),
a leading figure in the Southeast Asia terrorist group known
as Jemaah Islamiyah ("JI").
sent Jabarah to Malaysia to meet and assist JI operatives who
were planning a terrorist operation against American and Israeli
Embassies in the Philippines. KSM provided Jabarah with funds
for the operation, giving him $20,000 and promising at least
$30,000 more. KSM also told Jabarah to leave Pakistan by Tuesday,
September 11, 2001.
Jabarah met regularly with a group of JI operatives to plan
the attack. Their discussions included target selection, funding,
and procurement and transportation of explosives. Later, Jabarah
traveled to the Philippines to perform operational surveillance
of the United States Embassy in Manila. Jabarah also met in
Manila with a JI explosives expert who was to construct the
bombs that would be used in the terrorist operation.
Jabarah and the JI operatives performed surveillance of the
United States Embassy in Singapore in connection with their
decision to make that Embassy their priority for an attack.
The operatives made a videotape of the United States Embassy
in Singapore and other potential targets during the course
of their surveillance efforts.
2001, after a number of JI operatives were arrested in Singapore,
Jabarah traveled from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Bangkok, Thailand,
where he met with Hambali. Hambali advised Jabarah to flee
Southeast Asia because the plot had been exposed in Singapore.
traveled to the United Arab Emirates, where he made contact
with KSM. On KSM’s instructions, Jabarah went to Oman to establish
a safehouse for al Qaeda members who were fleeing from Afghanistan
en route to Yemen.
2002, Jabarah was arrested in Oman and deported to Canada.
Jabarah voluntarily came to the United States from Canada in
May 2002 pursuant to an agreement between Jabarah and this
Office whereby Jabarah agreed to surrender to the custody of
the FBI with the goal of entering into a cooperation agreement
that would require him to plead guilty to criminal charges.
As part of this agreement and to effect his travel to the United
States, Jabarah executed a parole agreement, which described
the understandings between the parties and granted him entry
into the United States for the limited purpose of his cooperation.
Jabarah was held in New York by the FBI until November 8, 2002,
when investigation suggested that Jabarah had secretly disavowed
his commitment to cooperate and was, instead, planning to attack
federal officials. At that time, Jabarah was transferred into
the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Information to which Jabarah pleaded guilty includes five counts:
(1) conspiracy to kill United States nationals; (2) conspiracy
to kill United States officers and employees engaged in their
official duties; (3) conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction
against United States nationals; (4) conspiracy to destroy
United States property by means of fire or explosives; and
(5) making false statements to FBI agents in connection with
a terrorism investigation.
26, is a Canadian citizen of Iraqi descent. He formerly lived
in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada. "Armed with al Qaeda
training and cash, and on the direct orders of Usama Bin Laden
and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Mohammed Mansour Jabarah led a
team of terrorists in a very real plot to kill Americans overseas," said
Michael Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern
District of New York.
sentence is more than appropriate, given that there is little
doubt that an attack on one of our Embassies in Southeast Asia
would have been carried out, and lives would have been lost,
had our foreign law enforcement counterparts not broken up
was a deadly serious terrorist. He swore allegiance to Bin
Laden and lived with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, took orders
from Hambali and planned to kill Americans in Manila and
Mark Mershon, the Assistant Director-in- Charge of the New
York Office of the FBI. "Fortunately he did not succeed
with his plans, the consequences of which would have been devastating." Mr.
Garcia praised the work of the New York Joint Terrorism Task
Force, principally consisting of agents of the FBI and detectives
of the New York City Police Department, for their extraordinary
efforts in the investigation and prosecution of this case.
United States Attorneys David Raskin and Jennifer Rodgers are
in charge of the prosecution.