WASHINGTON — Three Ohioans were charged in federal courts on Tuesday with conspiring to kill U.S. forces in Iraq as part of an Islamic holy war against the United States.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told reporters here that the three, originally from Jordan and Lebanon and living in Toledo, were "engaging in weapons training, sympathizing with the terrorists and seeking to provide help in order to kill people abroad, including our troops."
The three, Mohammad Zaki Amawi, 26, a dual citizen of Jordan and the United States; Marwan Othman el-Hindi, 42, a naturalized citizen born in Jordan; and Wassim I. Mazloum, 24, a legal permanent resident, were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts overseas and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Amawi is also charged with making threats to kill President Bush.
The three pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in federal courts in Toledo and Cleveland.
"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," the indictment said.
The indictment also said the three had discussed applying for U.S. grants to obtain money to be diverted to their cause.
The indictment charges that the men solicited help from an individual identified only as "the trainer," who is described as a citizen with experience in the U.S. military. Much of the case against the men appears to come from the testimony of that individual.
The indictment says the charges are based on a series of activities by the three defendants, including viewing materials on Web sites on building explosive devices like those used against allied forces in Iraq and others that showed how to make a suicide bomb vest.