Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, two Iraqi nationals, were arrested in Bowling Green, Ky., after a two-year FBI investigation.
They were indicted for allegedly providing assistance to Al Qaeda in Iraq and attempting to send weapons overseas. The men were living in the United States and had been granted refugee status, despite their insurgency activities in Iraq and their role in attacking U.S. troops.
Alwan has been charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, distributing information about explosives, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to transfer and possess weapons. Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to transfer and possess weapons.
The FBI began to investigate Alwan in September 2009, using an informant to obtain information about his involvement with the insurgency in Iraq. During one meeting with the FBI's informant, Alwan allegedly said that he was skilled with sniper rifles, adding that his "lunch and dinner would be an American [soldier]." Alwan also allegedly discussed how he would assemble bomb components and place roadside IEDs after curfew in Iraq. Alwan allegedly was part of the insurgency from 2003 until May 2006, when he was arrested by Iraqi authorities.
As the FBI continued its investigation into Alwan, analysts concluded that a set of his fingerprints matched an unexploded IED that U.S. troops had recovered in Bayji, Iraq, in September 2005. The match was made by the FBI's Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, which analyzes bomb construction, components and forensics to identify bomb makers and new and emerging trends that U.S. forces have seen in war zones. The center has also tried to work on countermeasures to disrupt and disarm IEDs. Alwan allegedly told the FBI informant that he had lived near Bayji, and that he had used a specific type of cordless phone to construct an IED, which was made up of three artillery shells.
The FBI informant told Alwan that his boss had received funds from Osama bin Laden, and during a September 2010 discussion Alwan allegedly expressed interest in helping them provide support to terrorists in Iraq. The criminal complaint against Alwan alleges that the informant "told Alwan that a group he was affiliated with planned to support the mujahedeen in Iraq by shipping them money and weapons ... by secreting them in hidden compartments in vehicles that were being shipped to Iraq."
Alwan has been charged with providing material support for allegedly drawing diagrams of IEDs, and showing how they could be constructed. The informant asked Alwan during an October 2010 meeting if he could train people to produce the devices. Alwan allegedly said, "It's easy. It doesn't take much."