Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Police assist in investigation of man who pleaded guilty to supporting Al-Qaida

The Kansas City Missouri Police Department, along with several other local, state and national agencies who are part of the Heart of America Joint Terrorism Task Force, conducted an investigation that led to the guilty plea this morning of a Kansas City man who was financially supporting Al-Qaida. This was announced at a press conference this afternoon with U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips.

Khalid Ouazzani, 32, pleaded guilty in federal court this morning to materially supporting a terrorist organization, bank fraud and money laundering. Ouazzani is a native of Morocco who is a naturalized citizen of the United States. He swore an oath of allegiance to Al-Qaida in June 2008. He admitted to participating in a conspiracy to support the group from August 2007 to February 2010.

Ouazzani owned and operated Truman Used Auto Parts in Kansas City, Mo. In April 2007, he took out a $175,000 line of credit from Union Bank in Kansas City for what he said was to be used as working capital for his business. He sold the business in August 2007, and donated $6,500 of the proceeds to Al-Qaida with the help of a co-conspirator (who is not being identified at this time). He never repaid the bank loan.

He used some of the loan money for himself, but in May 2007, he transferred $112,830 to a bank account in the United Arab Emirates and used it to buy an apartment there. He later sold the apartment at a profit of $17,000 - money that he also gave to Al-Qaida through a co-conspirator.

U.S. Attorney Phillips said at the press conference there was no evidence that Ouazzani presented any imminent threat or harm to the community. He did have conversations with others about various ways to support Al-Qaida, including plans for them to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia.

KCPD is a proud member of the Heart of America Joint Terrorism Task Force, of whom U.S. Attorney Phillips said today, "Much or their work is behind the scenes. They play a crucial role in investigating terrorist activities." The members of the Task Force include:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Defense Criminal Investigative Service
Federal Air Marshals Service
IRS-Criminal Investigation
Kansas City Kansas Police Department
Kansas City Missouri Police Department
Kansas Highway Patrol
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Overland Park, Kan., Police Department
U.S. Attorney's offices fo the Western District of Missouri and the District of Kansas
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Marshals Service
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
U.S. Secret Service

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