An American citizen who linked-up with al-Qaida has been convicted by a federal jury in Manhattan.
Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, originally from Houston, Texas was found guilty September 29 for taking part in a botched suicide bombing in 2009 at a U.S. military installation in Afghanistan.
Farekh’s case pulled in additional attention since U.S. officials had, at first, debated their choices: Kill Farekh in a drone stroke or capture him and prosecute him in a civilian court.
Ultimately former-President Obama’s administration opted for capture and prosecution which was accomplished in 2015.
“An American al-Qaeda was brought to justice in a courtroom,” said Bridget Rohde, the acting U.S. lawyer for New York’s Eastern District.
Farekh, when sentenced, faces life in prison for his “efforts to murder Americans” as well as his commitment to Al Qaeda.
A majority of the charges Farekh faced came from an attack on Forwarding Operating Base Chapman in Khost City in January 2009.
The attackers rigged two vehicles with explosives, and the initial blast injured several Afghans. A larger bomb, meant for American soldiers, failed to detonate.
Eighteen of Farekh’s fingerprints were found on packing tape used to attach detonators on the unexploded bomb which Farekh was convicted of using in an attempt to murder American nationals.
In the midst of the trial, the jury was told by Zarein Ahmedzay he was trained as an al-Qaida operative by a co-conspirator of Farekh. The pair traveled from Canada to Pakistan in 2007.
Farekh’s father encountered four jurors in an elevator and asked why he wasn’t allowed direct contact with his son. Deliberations about the chance encounter led the judge to replace the jurors with alternates and instructed deliberations continue with a panel of eleven instead of the standard twelve.