Garden Grove man pleads guilty to attempting to aid al Qaeda

Hanna Chu (KABC) | December 27, 2013

LOS ANGELES — A Garden Grove man has admitted that he intended to assist al Qaeda by traveling to Pakistan to provide weapons training.

Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The 24-year-old was arrested in Santa Ana on Oct. 11 as he was waiting to board a bus to Mexico.

Nguyen, who also used the name Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, admitted in a plea agreement that he went to Syria about a year ago and joined opposition forces. He told people through social media that he was fighting the Assad regime, and when he returned to the U.S., Nguyen offered to train al Qaeda forces in Syria, but his offer was turned down.

Federal authorities say Nguyen met with an undercover FBI agent who he believed was an al Qaeda recruiter between Aug. 3 and Oct. 11. He told the man he wanted to return to jihad because “this was what he was born to do.”

Nguyen gave the FBI agent a photo of himself and a passport application with “bogus information,” investigators said, and he agreed to train 30 al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan.

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Photo credit: KABC

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