Terrorist Christopher Paul to plead guilty
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man accused of joining al-Qaida and plotting to bomb resorts and military bases abroad has agreed to plead guilty, according to federal court documents filed Monday.If you'd like to see a video from the local CBS outlet, here it is:
Christopher Paul, 44, a U.S. citizen who grew up in the Columbus suburb of Worthington, is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, specifically bombs, in terrorist attacks, documents show.
The agreement notes Paul and the government have the right to withdraw from the deal if a federal judge doesn't accept the sentencing recommendation of 20 years in prison.
The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment. Paul's attorney, Jim Gilbert, said the documents speak for themselves.
Paul was to be tried next year. The plea agreement was first reported by The Columbus Dispatch on its Web site.
An indictment filed in April 2007 alleged that Paul traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan beginning in 1990 to meet members of al-Qaida and to attend terrorist training camps with a goal of carrying out attacks.
The government said Paul was so devoted to the cause that he told an al-Qaida member he was angry the group would ever consider scaling back military operations. Paul said he was committed to such operations even if others were not, according to the government's indictment.
Paul joined al-Qaida and traveled to Germany in 1999 to train coconspirators to use explosives, the indictment said.
Paul plotted to bomb government buildings overseas and European vacation spots frequented by American tourists. The indictment does not name specific resorts or buildings that might have been targeted, but gives U.S. embassies, military bases and consulates as examples.
Paul is the last of three Columbus-area acquaintances charged with alleged terrorist activities after the FBI opened an investigation more than five years ago. The Justice Department has accused the three of discussing terrorist attacks during an August 2002 meeting at a coffee shop in suburban Columbus.
One of the men, Iyman Faris, a U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, pleaded guilty in May 2003 to providing material support for terrorism and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The other man, Somali immigrant Nuradin Abdi, pleaded guilty in July to one charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. He is serving a 10-year sentence after which he will be deported.
There may even be ten other suspects who haven't been charged yet. If they're guilty, they too should be officially charged and thrown in the dungeon.