Canadian Al Qaeda Member Sentenced to Life
for Conspiring to Bomb U.S. Embassies

NEW YORK, New York (FBI) — Michael Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Mark Mershon, the Assistant Director-in-Charge 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 to bomb 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.

Bin Laden 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").

KSM then 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.

In Malaysia, 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.

Subsequently, 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.

In December 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.

Jabarah then 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.

In February 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.

The felony 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.

Jabarah, 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.

"Jabarah’s 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 the plot."

"Jabarah 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 Singapore," said 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.

Assistant United States Attorneys David Raskin and Jennifer Rodgers are in charge of the prosecution.