Courts & Crime

Auto parts dealer pleads guilty to giving money to al Qaida

A Kansas City used car and auto parts dealer admitted in Kansas City federal court Wednesday that he provided "material support" to al Qaida.

Khalid Ouazzani, a Moroccan-born naturalized U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges, admitting that he sent $23,500 to al Qaida through a bank in the United Arab Emirates between August 2007 and summer 2008.

Ouazzani, 32, also admitted in the plea hearing that in June 2008, he swore to an unnamed co-conspirator an oath of allegiance to the terrorist organization.

Later in the hearing, Ouazzani's lawyer, Robin Fowler, asked him if he had sworn to someone else his "intent to join al Qaida.""Yes sir," Ouazzani responded.

He also pleaded guilty to money laundering and bank fraud in a previously indicted scheme to steal more than $174,000 from a bank using false and fraudulent financial information.

He also acknowledged that he and co-conspirators not identified in the charges discussed fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia as another way to support al Qaida.

The conspirators also "used various techniques to disguise their communications about their plans and assistance to support" al Qaida, according to court records.

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