Alleged would-be suicide bomber pleads guilty

AP News
Posted: Jul 30, 2012 6:54 PM
Alleged would-be suicide bomber pleads guilty

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man accused of plotting a suicide bombing overseas and claiming that he was inspired by a radical Muslim cleric pleaded guilty Monday.

The plea from Shaker Masri, 28, ends one of the last terrorism trials pending in the Chicago federal court. A plea deal was announced July 12, when Masri's attorney said the agreement was favorable to his client, though he declined to elaborate. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16.

Masri, who was born in Alabama and lived abroad before returning to the U.S. at age 18, was arrested in 2010 after the FBI exposed his alleged plot to attend a Somalia training camp to become a suicide bomber for terrorist groups al-Qaida and al-Shabab.

He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a violent extremist group and trying to offer material support by use of a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S.

The charges could carry a sentence of several decades in prison.

Masri allegedly told an informant he admired Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric believed to have inspired the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings and the failed Christmas bombing of a jet bound for Detroit. A U.S. drone attack killed al-Awlaki last year.