PHOENIX — A Syrian man accused of making a key component in improvised explosive devices used in attacks against U.S. troops during the Iraq War was convicted Friday on federal conspiracy charges.
Jurors deliberated over four days before delivering the verdict against Ahmed Alahmedalabdaloklah (AL-ah-med-AL-ab-dahl-OK’-lah), who is accused of making circuit boards used to remotely detonate roadside bombs for the 1920 Revolution Brigades. The group claimed responsibility for 230 attacks against American troops in Iraq from 2005 to 2010, prosecutors have said in court papers.
The trial was held in Phoenix because authorities say Alahmedalabdaloklah got components for a wireless initiation system used in the IEDs from a company headquartered in Arizona.
The case against the 40-year-old arose from a raid a decade ago at a Baghdad apartment where soldiers discovered a large cache of bomb-making materials, though no explosives were found. Prosecutors say his fingerprints were found on several items in the apartment.
Several people have tied him to the production of IED components, including one person who said Alahmedalabdaloklah found a factory in China to make the circuit boards after he fled Iraq, authorities said.
Alahmedalabdaloklah was convicted on charges of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to destroy U.S. government property with an explosive, possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a violent crime and conspiracy to possess a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.
He was acquitted on charges of providing support to terrorists and conspiring to commit extraterritorial murder of a U.S. national. His sentencing is set for June 5.
Gregory Bartolomei, a defense attorney, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment on the verdict.
Defense attorneys have said Alahmedalabdaloklah never expressed any sentiments against Americans in 12 years of emails that were reviewed by investigators.
They have said their client, who was brought to Iraq as a refugee when he was a child, operated a legitimate electronics shop in Baghdad and moved to China when security in Iraq deteriorated. They say he set up an electronics business in China that sold products in Iraq and elsewhere but never sent any components used in a bomb.
He was arrested in May 2011 after flying to Turkey from China. He was jailed for three years in Turkey before being extradited to the United States in August 2014.
The 1920 Revolution Brigades, the group he’s accused of selling parts to, was active against U.S. forces in Sunni-dominated parts of Iraq until it switched sides in 2007 to fight against al-Qaida. The group derived its name from the 1920 revolution in which Iraqis revolted against a British occupation.