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Dutch man pleads not guilty in US on Iraq attacks

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) An Iraqi-born Dutch citizen pleaded not guilty today to charges of plotting attacks on Americans in Iraq, the first US criminal prosecution arising from such suspected activity in Iraq, US officials said.

They said the defendant, Wesam al Delaema, made his initial appearance in a US court following his extradition over the weekend from the Netherlands.

Al Delaema, 33, was charged in a six-count indictment in 2005 with participating in a conspiracy to attack Americans in Iraq. Born in Fallujah, Iraq, he was arrested in the Netherlands in 2005.

According to the indictment, he traveled from the Netherlands to Iraq in October 2003 with a group calling themselves the ''Fighters of Fallujah'' planning to attack Americans with explosives.

The indictment accused al Delaema and his co-conspirators of hiding explosives in a road in the Fallujah area.

Al Delaema, who initially faced similar charges in the Netherlands, lost a final appeal against his extradition in December.

Over the weekend, he was flown to the United States, arrested, and taken into custody by the FBI, the officials said. He is being held in the District of Columbia jail.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Reuters SP DB2301

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