Man conspired with al-Qaida, authorities say
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 13, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal grand jury indicted an Ohio man on charges of joining al-Qaida and conspiring to bomb European tourist resorts and U.S. government facilities and military bases overseas, officials announced Thursday.
Christopher Paul, 43, a U.S. citizen and resident of Columbus, spent time learning hand-to-hand fighting and how to use grenades and assault rifles at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, according to a federal grand jury indictment. He then joined the terrorist group in Pakistan and told al-Qaida members he was dedicated to committing violent jihad.
The investigation into Paul and his activities spanned four years, three continents and at least eight countries, FBI agent Tim Murphy said Thursday, shortly before Paul appeared before a federal judge.
Bill Hunt, first assistant U.S. attorney, declined to say whether any of the alleged plots were carried out. People Paul associated with in Europe have been arrested, he said.
Paul, who was arrested Wednesday outside his apartment, is charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, which carries the most serious penalty of up to life in prison.
In court Thursday, Magistrate Judge Terence Kemp asked Paul if he understood the charges. Paul replied: "Yes, sir."
The indictment says Paul traveled to Germany about April 1999 to train co-conspirators to use explosives to attack European and U.S. targets, including government buildings and vacation spots frequented by American tourists.
A fax machine in his home contained names, phone numbers and contact information for key al-Qaida leadership and associates, according to the indictment, issued Wednesday.
[Last modified April 13, 2007, 01:29:59]
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