Statement of Facts in Al Qaeda Member Case

6. In early 2002, the defendant visited C-1 in Karachi, Pakistan. C-1 introduced the defendant to conspirator-2 (C-2). After this initial introduction, C-1 informed the defendant that C-2 was the "number three man" to Osama bin Laden. C-2 was, in fact, a senior operational leader in al Qaeda.

7. A few weeks later, C-1 asked the defendant to go with C-1's son to deliver a bag containing money and cellphones to C-2. The defendant knew the son as being an "errand-boy" for al Qaeda. At this meeting, C-2 asked the defendant what he could do for al Qaeda. The defendant and C-2 discussed the defendant's work as a truck driver in the United States. The defendant described his trucking routes and deliveries for airport cargo planes. C-2 advised that he was interested in cargo planes because they would hold "more weight and more fuel."

8. C-2 then informed the defendant that al Qaeda was planning two simultaneous operations in New York City and Washington, D.C. C-2 spoke with the defendant about destroying a bridge in New York City by severing suspension cables on the bridge. C-2 tasked the defendant to procure the necessary equipment for the operation. C-2 described the equipment as "gas cutters" but instructed the defendant to refer to them in code as "gas stations" in any subsequent communications sent to C-2. C-2 also explained that al Qaeda was planning to derail trains. C-2 assigned the defendant to obtain the necessary tools for the train-derailment plot as well. In messages to C-2, those tools were to be referred to as "mechanics shops." The defendant indicated that he had email and was familiar with the internet. C-2 instructed the defendant never to access email immediately after logging on but only after opening other internet sites first.

9. Upon returning to the United States from Pakistan in April 2002, the defendant researched "gas cutters" and the particular bridge in New York City on the internet. After his internet research, the defendant approached an acquaintance who had a technical background and asked him about obtaining "gas cutters."

10. Between April 2002 and March 2003, the defendant sent several coded messages through another in the United States to C-1 in Pakistan, indicating that the defendant was still trying to obtain "gas stations" and "mechanics shops" (i.e., he had been unsuccessful in his ongoing attempts to locate the equipment). In March 2003, the defendant inquired about C-2's arrest through a message to another here in the United States.

11. In late 2002, the defendant traveled to New York City. After examining the particular bridge, he concluded that the plot to destroy the bridge by severing the cables was very unlikely to succeed because of the bridge's security and structure. In early 2003, after scouting the bridge, the defendant sent a message to C-1 which stated "the weather is too hot." This message was coded and meant to convey the defendant's assessment that the bridge plot was unlikely to succeed.

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