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Iraqi-Canadian man pleads guilty to role in deadly attack on US base

Five US soldiers were killed in the 2009 attack [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 March, 2018

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An Iraqi-Canadian man pleaded guilty to a US charge that he helped orchestrate the April 2009 truck bombing of a US base in Mosul that killed five soldiers.
An Iraqi-Canadian man pleaded guilty to a US charge that he assisted in the orchestration of the April 2009 truck bombing of a US base in Mosul, Iraq, that killed five soldiers, reports said on Tuesday.

Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to murder Americans  - a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison - but prosecutors have agreed to a sentence of 26 years, under a plea deal described by US District Judge Roslynn Mauskopf in Brooklyn.

But Mauskopf did not decide whether to accept that agreement, suggesting if she decides not to accept it, ‘Isa will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

Assistant US Attorney Peter Baldwin said in court that the prosecutors had consulted with the families of the victims of the attack, and that some supported the deal while others did not.

“While no amount of jail time can make up for the loss of a family member, the government believes that the agreed-upon sentence provides a fair and just resolution to the very serious charges brought against the defendant,” Baldwin said.

“We are mindful of how difficult this case is for so many, but think that the proposed plea agreement would be an appropriate resolution of the case,” Mildred Whalen, a lawyer for Isa, said in an email after the hearing.

‘Isa, who was born in Iraq and is an Iraqi and Canadian citizen, was arrested in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2011. He is also known as Sayfildin Tahir Sharif.

Prosecutors have said that, while living in Canada, ‘Isa conspired with a group of militants that carried out a suicide truck bombing on April 10, 2009, at the United States’ Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, the indictment charged ‘Isa with murdering each of the five victims and with supporting terrorists. 

According to court records, prosecutors at a February 2015 court hearing said that ‘Isa was working with the Islamic state militant group.

However, ’Isa did not plead guilty to the murder charges or the terrorism charge.

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