Iraqi-Born Dutch Citizen Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Conspiracy Against Americans
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
An Iraqi-born Dutch citizen on Thursday pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to murder Americans overseas, including the planting of roadside bombs targeting U.S. soldiers in Fallujah, Iraq, and by demonstrating on video how these explosives would be detonated to destroy American vehicles and their occupants, according to documents obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
The guilty plea by Wesam al-Delaema, a/k/a Wesam Khalaf Chayed Delaeme, age 36, was announced on Thursday by Matthew G. Olsen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Jeffrey A. Taylor, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and Joseph Persichini Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office.
At a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman, al-Delaema entered a plea of guilty to count one of a six-count indictment returned in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in September 2005. Specifically, al-Delaema pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals outside the United States.
Separately, al-Delaema has also agreed to plead guilty next week in Superior Court for the District of Columbia to one count of aggravated assault for a December 2007 incident at the D.C. jail in which he kicked a prison guard to the point of unconsciousness while the guard was prone on the ground.
The guard sustained significant injuries, including a subdural hemorrhage. Al-Delaema was indicted for this offense in Superior Court for the District of Columbia in November 2008.
The Justice Department and al-Delaema have agreed upon a sentence of 25 years imprisonment for the offense of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals overseas and a concurrent sentence of 18 months imprisonment for the offense of aggravated assault. Sentencing has been set for April 15, 2009. According to an agreement between the United States and the Netherlands, al-Delaema will serve out his sentence in the Netherlands.
According to the plea agreement and other documents filed in court, between October 2003 and May 2, 2005, al-Delaema entered into an agreement with several co-conspirators to murder U.S. nationals in Iraq. As part of the conspiracy, al-Delaema traveled to Fallujah in October 2003. There, al-Delaema and his co-conspirators — calling themselves the â€œMujahideen from Fallujahâ€ — declared their intentions to kill Americans in Iraq using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
As part of the conspiracy, al-Delaema and his co-conspirators discussed and demonstrated, on video, the way in which the IEDs they had buried in a road near Fallujah would be detonated and would destroy American vehicles driving on the road and kill the American occupants of those vehicles.
In one statement on video, al-Delaema stated, â€œWe will show you, in a short while, the site where we hide the mines and how the operation is conducted. The operation will be carried out, if Allah wills, today, and if they come. This is not the first operation we carry out. We have executed several operations and most of them were successful. The American Army wouldnâ€™t admit to casualties. Their casualties have gone beyond our imagination. In Fallujah alone, they lost hundreds.â€
Later in the same video, al-Delaema and a co-conspirator demonstrated the components of an IED buried in the road.
According to court papers, al-Delaema not only created â€œhow-toâ€ and recruitment videos, but also filmed the effects of roadside attacks in Iraq. Furthermore, after his return to the Netherlands, al-Delaema continued to attempt to obtain propaganda videos for those seeking to kill Americans in Iraq, frequently attempting to obtain raw footage of attacks on Americans in Iraq.
Finally, in May 2005, al-Delaema possessed video images of himself and his co-conspirators documenting their intentions to kill Americans in Iraq and their acts in furtherance of their conspiracy, including hiding the roadside bombs near Fallujah. He also possessed that day additional edited videos of attacks on Americans.
Al-Delaema was arrested by Dutch law enforcement authorities on May 2, 2005, and he initially faced similar charges in that country. Following his arrest, Dutch law enforcement and prosecution authorities worked cooperatively with the FBI in its investigation of al-Delaemaâ€™s terrorist activities.
In September 2005, the United States filed a formal request with the Netherlands seeking al-Delaemaâ€™s extradition. The extradition request was subsequently granted by a Dutch court and then by the Dutch Ministry of Justice. In December 2006, the extradition request was sustained on appeal in the Netherlands. In January 2007, al-Delaema was flown to the United States, arrested and taken into custody by the FBI.
â€œInvestigations of terrorists traveling to and from Iraq and Afghanistan to conduct anti-coalition attacks can only be accomplished through the close cooperation between the FBI and our foreign law enforcement partners,â€ said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Joseph Persichini Jr.
â€œThe FBI had the extreme good fortune to work with the Dutch KLPD in this terrorism investigation and we look forward to continued cooperation with The Netherlands and other members of the International Law Enforcement community in fighting the global war on terror.â€
The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBIâ€™s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the Dutch National Police Agency and the National Office of the Public Prosecutor in the Netherlands. The Office of International Affairs in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice coordinated the extradition efforts on behalf of the United States.
The prosecutors handling the case are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregg Maisel and Rachel Lieber of the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney David Miller of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Departmentâ€™s National Security Division
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the blog editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Recently, the editors Examiner.com appointed him as their Law Enforcement Examiner. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for NewswithViews.com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 300 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.