LOUISVILLE — An Iraqi man who settled in Bowling Green as a refugee boasted about having been an insurgent in Baghdad as he plotted with a confidential informant to ship weapons and money to al-Qaida in his home country, the FBI said in a search-warrant application.
FBI Special Agent Chris Faber quoted Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 24, as saying he didn't know how many explosives he had placed in Iraq, because "By God I didn't count them."
"I mean, I used to do two or three operations a day in Baghdad and I used to do every day in my neighborhood," Hammadi said.
The search warrant, approved Jan. 25 and obtained Monday by The Associated Press as a public record, gives details of recorded conversations between Hammadi, Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and the confidential source from late 2009 through early summer 2011.
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Hammadi faces 12 charges, including perjury and attempting to send material support to a known terrorist organization. His trial is scheduled for July 30. Alwan pleaded guilty to 23 terrorism-related charges in December and is to be sentenced April 3.
The warrant also detailed how Hammadi and Alwan acquired what they thought were working weapons, including rocket-propelled grenade launchers, C4 explosives and Russian-made surface-to-air missiles, and allegedly plotted to ship those and financial aid to al-Qaida in Iraq. The FBI said all the weapons were rendered inoperable.
Prosecutors sought the warrant to seize and search four cellphones from Hammadi because records show he made international phone calls on them. The warrant does not reveal what agents found on the phones.
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.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisville, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment.
An FBI informant, whose identity remains secret, met with Alwan for nearly 18 months and Hammadi for about five months. Faber wrote in the warrant application that agents first placed an informant with Alwan in August 2010.
Alwan recruited Hammadi from Las Vegas in January 2011 to assist in shipping money and weapons to al-Qaida, Faber wrote.
During multiple meetings, Faber wrote, the three men discussed sending cash to insurgents in amounts ranging from $200,000 to $600,000 at a time, without triggering the suspicion of federal officials.
Faber said Hammadi and Alwan were recorded at an FBI-rented storage facility in February preparing two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two machine guns, two sniper rifles and two cases of explosives for shipment to Iraq.