February 21, 2006

3 charged with “jihad conspiracy”

By Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A grand jury in Ohio indicted three
men for conspiring to kill people and for planning attacks
against U.S. forces overseas, court documents showed on

The indictment said the three men -- Mohammad Zaki Amawi,
Marwan Othman el-Hindi and Wassim Mazloum -- were part of a
conspiracy that began in November 2004 to kill people outside
the United States, including U.S. troops in Iraq.

"It was part of the conspiracy that one or more
conspirators would recruit others to train for violent jihad
against the United States and its allies in Iraq, and
elsewhere, and would propose potential training sites for use
in providing ongoing firearms, hand-to-hand combat, explosives
and other paramilitary training to prospective recruits," the
indictment said.

The men were indicted in the U.S. District Court in Ohio
and were due to appear in court in Toledo and Cleveland later

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will discuss the
indictments at a news conference on Tuesday.

According to the indictment, Amawi is a citizen of Jordan
and the United States, Mazloum is a legal U.S. resident and
el-Hindi is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Jordan.

They worked with a U.S. citizen identified in the
indictment only as "the Trainer." The indictment said the
Trainer, who was not charged in the case, had a U.S. military
background and was recruited by el-Hindi in 2002 to help
provide security and bodyguard training.

As part of the conspiracy, the men researched and solicited
potential funding sources for jihad training, the indictment

The men were also accused of gathering and viewing training
materials, some from Web sites, for use in training sessions.

Amawi was charged with downloading a video, "Martyrdom
Operation Vest Preparation," on how to make a suicide bomb

The indictment said the men used code words to communicate
with co-conspirators in the Middle East. It said they tried to
find and provide various resources and materials requested by
the co-conspirators for use in fighting against the U.S.
military and coalition forces in Iraq and elsewhere.

The resources included money, training, explosives,
communications equipment, computers or personnel.

(additional reporting by Michael Conlon in Chicago)