The Associated Press is reporting that Nuradin Abdi, a member of the Columbus Al-Qaeda cell who planned to shoot up an area shopping mall, pled guilty this afternoon to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Abdi is the second member of the cell to plead guilty. The first, Iyman Farris, was expected to testify in Abdi’s trial, which was scheduled to begin on August 6th. The remaining charges against Abdi were dropped in exchange for the plea agreement.
Remember that it was Ahmad Al-Akhras in June 2004 who stood up for Abdi, telling reporters:
“What we know about him is unlike how he is portrayed,” said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic RelationsThis is not a good time to be a friend to Al-Akhras: first, Iyman Faris pled guilty to helping Al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohommad plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge (see this NEFA Foundation backgrounder on the plot released earlier this week); then his longtime friend Fawaz Damra was found guilty of concealing his ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad; now Nuradin Abdi takes the fall. I bet Ahmad Al-Akhras now regrets declaring Abdi’s innocence:
“This may be one of the cases also that may not have enough evidence or there’s no evidence at all,” Al-Akhras said.Congrats to the Southern District of Ohio’s US Attorney’s office on another win. Meanwhile, Ahmad Al-Akhras is 0-3 just here in Ohio.