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Santana, who claimed he went to Mexico to learn how to shoot different kinds of guns and how to make explosives, wanted to be a sniper. Deleon said he hoped he could be on the front lines or use C-4, an explosive, in an attack.
Gojali, a U.S. citizen, was recruited in late September and he said he would be willing to kill, court documents state.
3 get prison in failed bomb plot
Three men were sentenced Tuesday to years in prison after admitting to taking part in an unsuccessful plot to bomb a highway bridge in Ohio with what turned out to be a dud device provided by a government informant. Prosecutors had described the suspects as self-proclaimed anarchists who acted out of anger against corporate America and the government.
All three defendants — 20-year-old Connor Stevens, 27-year-old Douglas Wright and 21-year-old Brandon Baxter — apologized in court. Their attorneys said the sentences would be appealed.
"I watch videos on the Internet, and I see what they are doing to our brothers and sisters. ... It makes me cry, and it gets like I’m, like, so angered with them," Gojali said.
This past summer, plans to travel to Afghanistan became clearer for the group.
They talked about how they would avoid detection. They talked about opening an Afghan orphanage or possibly posing as cologne salesmen. They finally devised a cover story that they were going to attend Kabir’s fictional wedding.
It’s unclear whether Kabir actually made contact with Taliban or al-Qaida fighters, but in an August video conversation with Deleon, Kabir was with a shiekh or an imam, the complaint said.
Kabir also had intended to go on a suicide mission earlier this month but got sick, according to the court documents. He indicated he would wait for the group, which included the FBI informant, before staging an attack, according to the affidavit.
Before going, Deleon said he was going to leave parents a farewell letter. Asked by the informant if Deleon could lie about his true intentions in the letter, Deleon said, it’s OK to lie in war. "I believe right now ... we are in a state of war," he said.
Using the informant’s debit card, Deleon bought four tickets for a flight from Mexico City to Istanbul scheduled to leave this past Sunday. Had the men made it to Afghanistan, they would have initially joined the Taliban and then graduate to al-Qaida, Bowdich said.
"They saw this as jihad. They saw this as their way to push out the aggressors," Bowdich said.
Even if he failed in a terrorist training camp, Santana said, he would continue trying.
"If for some weird reason, if I can’t handle it, I’m not going to give up," he said, according to court documents. "Like, because, this is my strong intention. This is what I desire of doing in this life."
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