Kentucky Terror Case: Two Iraqis Charged With Supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq

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In November 2010, Alwan participated with the FBI informant in moving machine guns and rocket propelled grenades, Stinger missiles and plastic explosives from a storage facility to a truck that Alwan had been told was going to be used to ship the weapons overseas to Iraq. Alwan later recruited Hammadi to help him move weapons and cash to the tractor trailer. The FBI was secretly video taping the men loading the container. The men in March 2011 allegedly picked up two Stinger missiles from the storage facility and delivered them to the tractor trailer where they believed the items would be shipped to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Last February, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that the FBI was looking at possible instances of individuals in Al Qaeda in Iraq being involved in activities in the United States.

"I'll mention two other areas of threat within the United States," Mueller said. "One is -- relates to individuals going to Somalia to fight with al-Shabab, where we are closely monitoring that situation, as well as threats from Al Qaeda in Iraq, individuals who may have been resettled here in the United States that have had some association with Al Qaeda in Iraq."

Although both Alwan and Hammadi had been arrested by Iraq security forces, in 2006 they were allowed to enter the United States as refugees in April and July 2009, respectively. Asked why officials and Homeland Security had not properly vetted or reviewed the men's records, a Homeland Security official said, "This case demonstrates specific gaps that were present in the screening process that was in place in the beginning of the administration. Once the administration became aware of these gaps, it took immediate steps to fill them. Today our vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in past years."

Officials at Homeland Security say that they now continue to review applicants' names and fingerprint data, and cross reference it with available intelligence information and watchlists to see if there is derogatory information that may bar individuals from entering the United States or denying them a U.S. visa.

Lawyers for the two men could not be identified or reached based on a review of the court files available at this time.

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