Al-Qaeda Agent Pleads Guilty to Supporting Terrorism

Al-Marri entered US the day before 9/11
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2009 6:29 PM CDT
Ali Al-Marri, in a file photo.   (AP Photo/ICRC via Andy Savage, File)

(Newser) – An al-Qaeda sleeper agent who entered the country the day before the 9/11 attacks pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism in federal court today and faces 15 years in prison, the Peoria Journal Star reports. The government says Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who had been designated an "enemy combatant" and detained since 2001, attended terrorist training camps abroad and had detailed knowledge of hazardous chemicals.

Al-Marri came to the US on September 10, 2001, and was awaiting instructions to carry out an unspecified mission when he was arrested in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. When police arrested him at his Peoria apartment, they found information about cyanide on his laptop. In his plea deal, al-Marri acknowledges helping al-Qaeda. The government says he met Osama bin Laden himself and agreed to help with post-9/11 attacks.