Al Qaida Wannabe Faces 15 Years
LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Southern Californian pleaded guilty Friday to attempting to assist al Qaida by trying to go to Pakistan to train terrorists to use weapons.
Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, of Garden Grove, faces up to 15 years in federal prison for attempting to provide material support to foreign terrorists. He will be sentenced on March 21, 2014.
Nguyen, aka Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, admitted in a plea agreement that he went to Syria a year ago to fight with opposition forces, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
He used a social network internet site during the 4 months he was in Syria, and claimed he had a "confirmed kill," against the Assad regime, U.S. attorney said.
"After he returned to the United States, Nguyen told associates that he had offered to train al-Qai'da forces in Syria, but his offer had been turned down," according to the U.S. attorney's statement.
Nguyen then met with an "al Qaida recruiter" - actually, an FBI informant - and arranged to get a fraudulent passport and bought a plane ticket to Pakistan, prosecutors said in the statement. He was arrested in October, with a false passport and a computer hard drive with more than "180 training videos on shooting firearms," prosecutors said.
He has been in jail since then.