By Allan Lengel
Up until now, Bowling Green, Ky. was known mostly as the home of a General Motors assembly plant that builds Chevy Corvettes, Fruit of the Loom and Western Kentucky University.
But on Tuesday, the Justice Department announced the arrest in Bowling Green of two Iraqi men who allegedly tried to send sniper rifles, stinger missiles and money to Al-Qaida operatives in their home country. One man, Waad Ramadan Alwan was alleged to have carried out attacks in Iraq against American troops, authorities said.
Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, both former Iraqi residents residing in Bowling Green, were charged in a 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Bowling Green last Thursday.
Alwan is charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of IEDs; attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq; as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles, the Justice Department said.
Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq, as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles.
The men were arrested last Wednesday.
The Justice Department said both defendants were closely monitored in the months leading up to the arrests. Neither were charged withg plotting attacks in the U.S.
“Over the course of roughly eight years, Waad Ramadan Alwan allegedly supported efforts to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, first by participating in the construction and placement of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and, more recently, by attempting to ship money and weapons from the United States to insurgents in Iraq,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
“His co-defendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, is accused of many of the same activities. With these arrests, which are the culmination of extraordinary investigative work by law enforcement and intelligence officials, the support provided by these individuals comes to an end and they will face justice,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.