Iraqi-Born Dutch Citizen Gets 25 Years in Prison for Terrorism Conspiracy
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
An Iraqi-born Dutch citizen was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for conspiring to murder Americans overseas, including by planting 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.
The sentencing of Wesam al-Delaema, age 36, was announced today by David Kris, 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 today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Paul Friedman imposed the 25-year sentence against al-Delaema for conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals outside the United States. Al-Delaema pleaded guilty to this charge on Feb. 25, 2009. The Court made a finding that this offense was a federal crime of terrorism. In addition, video materials referenced in al-Delaemaâ€™s factual proffer were played in court for the first time.
On Tuesday, in a separate case, al-Delaema was sentenced in Superior Court for the District of Columbia to 18 months imprisonment for aggravated assault. Al-Delaema pleaded guilty to this charge on March 3, 2009, admitting that he kicked a D.C. prison guard to the point of unconsciousness while the guard was prone on the ground during an incident at the D.C. jail in 2007. The prison guard sustained significant injuries, including a subdural hemorrhage, during the incident.
The sentences for these separate offenses are to be served concurrently and were agreed upon as part of the global plea agreement. 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 factual proffers 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 travelled 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.
According to the factual proffer that he agreed to, 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.
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€œThis case represents the first use of U.S. criminal courts to prosecute an individual for terrorism offenses against Americans in Iraq,â€ said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. â€œThe sentence imposed today should serve notice that the United States will use all available tools to pursue those who would plot attacks against our men and women serving in Iraq.â€
â€œThe actions of this defendant were repugnant and contributed to the considerable violence against Americans in Iraq,â€ stated U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor. â€œThis case, which represents the first use of the United States criminal courts to prosecute an individual for terrorism offenses against Americans in Iraq, demonstrates our resolve to use every tool at our disposal to defend Americans, both at home and abroad.â€
â€œThe FBI is prepared at a moments notice to vigorously investigate injuries and threats to citizens, whether they occur in or outside the United States,â€ said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Joseph Persichini, Jr. â€œWe would particularly like to thank our Dutch law enforcement partners who worked with us for the past four years to bring this case to fruition.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.
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 former blog editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Recently, the editors at 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. If you wish to receive Kouri’s emailed law enforcement and intelligence reports, write to him at COPmagazine@aol.com. Simply write “Free Subscription” on the subject line.
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.