WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Ohio trucker has been arrested and charged with helping plan an al Qaeda attack against the U.S.
Iyman Faris, a 34-year-old trucker, allegedly looked into the possibility of destroying the Brooklyn Bridge in New York after meeting with al Qaeda operatives in the Middle East. He pleaded guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda in May.
“On any given day, Iyman Faris appeared to be a hard-working, independent truck driver,” Attorney General John Ashcroft told a news conference yesterday. “But Faris led a secret double life.”
While working as an independent trucker, CNN reports Faris was responsible for determining whether the Brooklyn Bridge could be destroyed by cutting suspension cables with gas cutters. Intercepted intelligence indicated Faris told al Qaeda members that there was too much security to do so. Faris was also asked to investigate the possibility of derailing a D.C. train during simultaneous attacks on New York and Washington.
Faris was also of interest to al Qaeda because he frequently made deliveries to cargo planes at airports. He also delivered sleeping bags, cell phones and money to al Qaeda operatives.
Faris will be sentenced Aug. 1 and is facing up to 20 years in jail and $500,000 in fines.
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