- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2007

2:01 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a U.S. citizen on charges of joining al Qaeda and conspiring to bomb European tourist resorts and U.S. government facilities and military bases overseas.

The investigation of Christopher Paul, 43, of Columbus spanned four years, three continents and at least eight countries, FBI agent Tim Murphy said today.

Mr. Paul trained with al Qaeda in the early 1990s, according to the indictment issued yesterday. It says he told al Qaeda members in Pakistan and Afghanistan that he was dedicated to committing violent jihad.

“The indictment of Christopher Paul paints a disturbing picture of an American who traveled overseas to train as a violent jihadist, joined the ranks of al Qaeda and provided military instruction and support to radical cohorts both here and abroad,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein said.

Mr. Paul, who was arrested yesterday outside his apartment, is charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.

In court today, Magistrate Judge Terence Kemp asked Mr. Paul if he understood the charges. “Yes, sir,” he replied. Prosecutors asked that he be held without bond, and Judge Kemp set another hearing tomorrow on the issue. Mr. Paul’s attorney, Don Wolery, did not return a message seeking comment before the hearing.

The indictment says that Mr. Paul traveled to Germany about April 1999 to train co-conspirators to use explosives to attack European and U.S. targets, including government buildings and vacation spots frequented by American tourists.

It does not name specific resorts or buildings that might have been targeted but gives U.S. embassies, military bases and consular premises in Europe as examples.

Prosecutors claim Mr. Paul later sent a wire transfer of $1,760 from a financial institution in the United States to a purported co-conspirator in Germany.

A fax machine in his home contained names, phone numbers and contact information for key al Qaeda leadership and associates, according to the indictment.

Mr. Paul also is accused of storing material at his father’s house in Columbus, including a book on improvised land mines, money from countries in the Middle East and a letter to his parents explaining that he would be “on the front lines,” according to the indictment.

His sister, Sandra Laws, answered the door at the home and said she and her father live there. She said the family will be speaking to Mr. Paul’s attorney later today and declined further comment.

No charges are expected against family members, authorities said.

Mr. Paul was born Paul Kenyatta Laws. He legally changed his name to Abdulmalek Kenyatta in 1989, then to Christopher Paul in 1994, according to the indictment.

After finishing his al Qaeda training in the early 1990s, he returned to Columbus to teach martial arts at a mosque, the indictment said.

Two other Columbus men have been charged in federal investigators’ terrorism investigation. Iyman Faris was sentenced in 2003 to 20 years in prison for a plot to topple the Brooklyn Bridge. Nuradin Abdi, accused of plotting to blow up a Columbus-area shopping mall, is awaiting trial on charges including conspiring to aid terrorists.

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