BROOKLYN (CN) - A Yemeni national faces life in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to plotting to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan for al-Qaida.
Ali Alvi al-Hamidi, 31, made his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn.
According to the federal government, al-Hamidi went to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan to join al-Qaida in 2008. While there, he allegedly trained with the terrorist group on how to use weapons and bombs.
Prosecutors say he then moved on to Afghanistan with Taliban forces to fight U.S. and coalition militants.
With Tuesday's plea, al-Hamidi "will be held accountable for his terrorist activity, including conspiring to kill members of our military," Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement. "The highest priority of the National Security Division is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to use all tools available to bring justice to those who seek to harm American servicemen and women who bravely risk their lives in defense of our nation."
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers called it a "significant guilty plea," that demonstrates the government's "unwavering commitment to bring to justice those who fight against U.S. forces or assist al-Qaida and others in their efforts to kill Americans at home or abroad."
According to a Newsweek report, al-Hamidi said in court Tuesday that he "agreed with others to join al-Qaida and participate in the fight against American forces."
Prosecutors allege al-Hamidi also helped an American, Bryant Neal Vinas, leave his home in Long Island to go to Pakistan to join al-Qaida.
Vinas planned to bomb the Long Island Railroad but failed when he was arrested in 2008.
Vinas pleaded guilty in 2009 to terrorism charges and conspiracy to murder. He still awaits sentencing.
Sentencing for al-Hamidi is scheduled for June 3, according to Newsweek.
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