Jury convicts Al Qaeda Yank
A U.S. CITIZEN was convicted Friday on charges that he turned to Al Qaeda and plotted to murder American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Brooklyn federal jurors found Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, 31, guilty of playing a role in a 2009 military base attack that could’ve resulted in disaster, and for consorting with the terror group for seven years.
Jurors weighed fingerprint and DNA evidence, as well as testimony from former Al Qaeda operatives. The 12-member panel got the case Tuesday, but only 11 jurors deliberated to a verdict. Four were dismissed after Farekh’s father hopped in an elevator with them on Wednesday and spoke about missing his son.
Judge Brian Cogan sent in the three alternates, and the trimmed-down jury started deliberations all over again Thursday.
The conviction could spell a life sentence for the Houston-born Farekh (photo), but his lawyer vowed to appeal.
“We are disappointed with the verdict and will file a request for a new trial,” attorney Sean Maher said in a statement. Farekh was raised in Dubai and went to college in Canada. That’s where he and two buddies, Ferid Imam and Maiwand Yar, filled their heads with jihadist propaganda.
Prosecutors played one video shot inside their dorm room, where Farekh excitedly finds a violent internet video allegedly depicting the death of American soldiers.
The trio flew to Pakistan’s tribal lands in 2007.
Queens-bred would-be subway bomber Zarein Ahmedzay testified that Imam, whom he knew as “Yousef,” gave Farek weapons training while in Pakistan.
Farekh was part of a January 2009 military base attack in Khost, Afghanistan.
His fingerprints were found on packing tape used on a truck bomb at Forward Operating Base Chapman.
One explosive blew up at the gate. A bomb technician said the other truck bomb — a 7,500-pound device — was the biggest he'd encountered during his tour of duty.