Iraqi refugee who plotted to bomb shopping malls pleads guilty in Houston

by WorldTribune Staff, October 18, 2016

An ISIL-supporting Iraqi refugee living in Houston has pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges for plotting to detonate homemade bombs at Houston-area shopping malls.

Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan
Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan

Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan, 24, pleaded guilty in a Houston federal court on Oct. 17. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Hardan entered the United States as an Iraqi refugee in 2009 after spending time in refugee camps in Jordan and Iraq, according to prosecutors. He was later granted legal permanent residence.

Hardan pledged allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in November 2014 and began supporting the terror organization publicly on social media, according to the plea agreement.

In 2014 and 2015, prosecutors said he told a federal source that he planned to travel overseas to support ISIL.

Hardan, who was arrested in January, also said he had taught himself to make remote detonators and showed off a circuit board he built as a transmitter.