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Yemeni American Accused of Training with al-Qaida Pleads Guilty - 2003-03-25

The third of six Yemeni-Americans accused of training with the al-Qaida terrorist network has pleaded guilty in the northern New York city of Buffalo.

The co-defendants are called the "Lackawanna Six," after the suburban Buffalo city in which they live. They were arrested in September and charged with providing material help to a foreign terrorist organization. Prosecutors said the six young men trained at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan in the Spring of 2001 - just months before the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

The six men had pleaded innocent earlier, claiming they went to Afghanistan for religious study and had no knowledge of the September 11, 2001, attacks. But in January one of the men agreed to testify against his five co-defendants and to cooperate with prosecutors. On Monday another defendant admitted he learned to use guns and grenades at an Osama bin Laden-affiliated camp near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

A third man, Yahya Goba, has now pleaded guilty in a federal court in New York, admitting he trained at the camp. Prosecutors hope the accused will provide information about other people who attended the camp or those who recruited them.

Goba, who is facing up to eight years in jail, will be sentenced in July.