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Yemeni Man Pleads Guilty of Conspiring With al-Qaida

FILE - Yemeni boys look at a vehicle destroyed during a police raid on an al-Qaida militant hideout in the Arhab region, north of Sanaa, Yemen, May 27, 2014.

A Yemeni national has pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court in New York of conspiring to murder Americans and of providing material support to a terrorism organization.

According to court papers, Saddiq al-Abbadi left Yemen for Iraq to fight against U.S. troops from late 2005 to early 2007.

In early 2008, he traveled to northwestern Pakistan to fight for al-Qaida before slipping across the border into Afghanistan to fight U.S. troops.

Prosecutors said Abbadi also used his connections to help an American from Long Island, Bryant Neal Vinas, join al-Qaida. Vinas pleaded guilty in 2009 of helping al-Qaida plan an attack on the Long Island Rail Road. He was arrested before he could carry out the attack.

Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie said in a statement Tuesday that Abbadi "was a high-level al-Qaida operative with ties to the terrorist group’s senior leadership in both Pakistan and Yemen.”

Abbadi could face a maximum sentence of life in an American prison. His sentencing is scheduled for September.