Thursday, February 26, 2009

Plea Likely from Iraq Terror Suspect

The Washington Post reports that a Dutch national accused of planting roadside bombs in Iraq is expected to plead guilty today. The case represents the first prosecution of an alleged Iraqi insurgent in a U.S. Courtroom.

Wesam al-Delaema, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on charges that include conspiring to murder U.S. citizens and possessing a destructive device during a crime of violence. . . .

[Delaema] was arrested by Dutch authorities in May 2005 and extradited to the United States in early 2007.

Authorities have alleged that Delaema traveled to Iraq in 2003 and was a member of the group Mujaheddin From Fallujah, which deployed roadside bombs.

On a videotape seized from his Dutch home, Delaema and other alleged insurgents were shown making, planting and discussing explosives intended to harm U.S. troops operating near Fallujah, authorities have said. On the video, Delaema said in Arabic that "we have executed several operations, and most of them were successful."

Dutch authorities began to investigate Delaema because they thought he may have participated in the 2004 killing of Nicholas Berg, a 26-year-old American businessman, prosecutors have written in court documents. . . .

After a lengthy wiretap investigation of Delaema that turned up discussions of insurgent attacks in Iraq and local crimes, Dutch authorities arrested him, prosecutors have said.

More recently, Delaema was charged with assaulting a corrections officer at the D.C. jail.

Any sentence imposed would be served in the Netherlands. As part of the extradition deal, U.S. authorities agreed not to send Delaema to the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and agreed that he would serve his prison time in his home country.


Interestingly, Dutch officials may amend any sentence imposed in the case.

No comments: