UK & World News

  • 28 December 2013, 7:20

Man 'Used Facebook To Contact Al Qaeda'

A man who used Facebook to connect with al Qaeda operatives has pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge in a US court.

Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen admitted that he tried to help al Qaeda by offering to provide weapons training to the terror group.

The 24-year-old entered the guilty plea before US District Court Judge John F. Walter. Nguyen faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Nguyenwas caught by an undercover FBI agent posing as a recruiter for al Qaeda. He was arrested by federal agents in October.

He said he planned to offer himself as a trainer for al Qaeda forces to ambush troops in Syria, where he had already spent five months fighting with rebels.

Assistant US Attorney Judith Heinz said Nguyen underwent 50 hours of interrogation during which he confessed to his plan.

Nguyen's admission was contained in a plea agreement filed in federal court, according to a US attorney's press release issued after the plea was entered and accepted.

"Nguyen admitted that approximately one year ago he travelled to Syria where he joined opposition forces," the statement said.

"Using a social network site during a four-month period he was in Syria, Nguyen told people that he was fighting against the Assad regime and that he had had a 'confirmed kill'."

Nguyen returned to the US, where he told associates he had offered to train al Qaeda forces in Syria but was turned down.

The judge who accepted the guilty plea had previously expressed scepticism about whether Nguyen had any special skills to offer the terror group.

Prosecutors said that between August 3 and October 11 Nguyen met with a man he thought was an al Qaeda recruiter but who actually was working for the FBI.

Nguyen is due to be sentenced on March 21.

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