LOUISVILLE — An Iraqi charged in Kentucky with plotting to help terrorists back home described his insurgent activities to the FBI and even discussed attacks on U.S. troops in that country, federal prosecutors wrote in a brief filed Wednesday.
Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 24, also told a confidential informant about his role in planting roadside bombs targeting American troops and about the command structure of the group he belonged to before arriving in the United States in July 2009, prosecutors said.
"In both recorded conversations with the (informant), and post-arrest interviews with law enforcement agents, Hammadi detailed his prior experience as an insurgent in Iraq, including his prior participation in attacks on U.S. troops," Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan Calhoun and Michael Bennett wrote.
The full details of Hammadi's comments were not included in the brief. Instead, the document lays out a general outline of the prosecution's case, as well as an exhibit list and any pending legal issues.
Hammadi faces 12 charges, including perjury and attempting to send material support to a known terrorist organization. A co-defendant, 30-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan, pleaded guilty to similar charges and is awaiting sentencing Oct. 3. Hammadi's trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Aug. 28 at the federal courthouse in Bowling Green. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.
The brief lays out a prosecution case built largely on Hammadi's own words to a confidential informant and videos of him placing what turned out to be deactivated weapons onto a tractor-trailer. Prosecutors submitted a list of 62 exhibits they intend to introduce at trial: a series of audio recordings between Hammadi and the confidential informant stretching from January through Hammadi's arrest in May; photographs of weapons that prosecutors say Hammadi intended to send to Iraq; and a video of a roadside bomb exploding in Iraq that killed and injured U.S. troops.
"During the course of his conversation with the (informant), Hammadi acknowledged remembering the attack and described his knowledge of similar attacks," Calhoun and Bennett wrote.
The time line of the prosecution case starts in 2010, when prosecutors say Alwan first met with a confidential informant, who told the refugee he was working with a group to ship money and weapons to mujahideen in Iraq. Alwan recruited Hammadi to assist in the plan in January 2011, prosecutors said.
For the next five months, the two men worked with the confidential informant to send weapons, including rocket-propelled grenade launchers and C4 plastic explosive, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to insurgents in Iraq, prosecutors said. Prosecutors wrote that video cameras captured the men putting the weapons and money onto a tractor-trailer in Bowling Green.
"The (informant) told Hammadi and Alwan that 'these weapons are not being sent only to Al-Qaida, they are going to all the mujahideen'," Calhoun and Bennett wrote.
During a Feb. 16, 2011 meeting, the trio discussed Strelas, a reference to a Russian-made portable shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile, prosecutors wrote.
"Hammadi discussed his familiarity with Strelas and his experience with them in Iraq, and they discussed shipping Strelas in the future," Calhoun and Bennett wrote.
Prosecutors say Hammadi lied to gain refugee status and enter the United States. Prosecutors said Alwan took part in insurgent activities in Iraq, including planting improvised explosive devices targeting U.S. troops, but denied such activity when he applied for refugee status in March 2009.
Prosecutors also notified the court that they intend to rely on four expert witnesses: Supervisory Special Agent Richard Stryker of the FBI's Laboratory Explosives Unit; Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University professor at the Walsh School of Foreign Service and a specialist in terrorism and counter-insurgency; and two linguists.
Hammadi's attorney, James Earhart of Louisville, had not filed a pre-trial brief as of midday Wednesday.