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2 Iraqis charged in US with terrorism plotting

world Updated: Jun 01, 2011 10:33 IST

Two Iraqis living in Kentucky have been arrested on charges that they tried to send sniper rifles, stinger missiles and money to al Qaeda operatives in their home country, according to court documents unsealed on Tuesday.

Thirty-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan and 23-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, who both have lived in Bowling Green since 2009, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Thursday. Neither is charged with plotting attacks within the United States, and authorities say their weapons and money didn't make it to Iraq because of a tightly controlled undercover investigation.

Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill a United States national, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and knowingly transferring, possession or exporting a device designed or intended to launch or guide a rocket or missile.

The indictment and criminal complaints were unsealed on Tuesday after the pair made their initial appearances in federal court in Louisville. Both men entered pleas of not guilty and were remanded to federal custody.

Hammadi's court-appointed attorney, James Earhart of Louisville, said he doesn't know much about the case or his client beyond what is in the criminal complaint.

"I haven't had a chance to sit down and talk with him yet," Earhart told The Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon. Federal public defender Scott Wendelsdorf, who represents Alwan, declined comment.