An American student was charged yesterday in an al Qaeda plot to kill President Bush, with prosecutors alleging that Ahmed Omar Abu Ali and his confederates planned to use multiple snipers to shoot Bush or to blow him up in a suicide bombing.
The expanded indictment of Abu Ali, returned by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, also claimed for the first time that he proposed a plan to bring members of an al Qaeda cell into the United States through Mexico. They would then link up with Abu Ali to conduct terrorist operations in this country, the indictment said.
Abu Ali, 24, of Falls Church was first charged in February with terrorism counts that included trying to establish an al Qaeda cell in the United States. That indictment referred to the plot to kill Bush, but Abu Ali was not charged with conspiring to assassinate the president until yesterday. The case is among the highest-profile terrorism prosecutions in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The new nine-count indictment also adds charges of conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy and destroy aircraft, part of the Justice Department’s allegations that Abu Ali was plotting with al Qaeda to conduct a Sept. 11-style attack in the United States that would include hijacking planes.