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Iraqi-Dutch Citizen Sentenced in D.C. on Terrorism Charges

Posted: April 24, 2009

An Iraqi-born Dutch citizen sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Americans overseas, is the first person to be prosecuted in a U.S. court for terrorism offenses against Americans in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


Wesam al-Delaema, 36, conspired to kill Americans by planting roadside bombs targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq between October 2003 and May 2005, according to a press release issued by the Justice Department on April 16, 2009. 


After traveling to Fallujah in October 2003, al-Delaema created videos demonstrating how to detonate explosives in order to destroy American vehicles and kill their occupants. “We have executed several operations and most of them were successful,” al-Delaema said in one video.  “The American Army wouldn’t admit to casualties.  Their casualties have gone beyond our imagination.”


In the videos, al-Delaema and his co-conspirators, the “Mujahideen from Fallujah,” state their intentions to kill Americans in Iraq using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).  The videos also provide instructions on how to bury and detonate IEDs.


In a video filmed with night vision technology in October 2003, al-Delaema said, “Today, with God’s help, and if the Americans enter, we will hit them with a timed mine by way of remote.”


Although prosecutors admitted it was impossible to determine if the bombs on al-Delaema’s videos were detonated or killed Americans, they noted that within the next ten days four Americans were killed in two roadside bomb explosions in the Fallujah area.


Al-Delaema was arrested by Dutch law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands in May 2005 and extradited to the U.S. in January 2007.  On February 25, 2009, al-Delaema pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder American citizens abroad and agreed to a 25-year sentence.


Al-Delaema will serve his sentence in the Netherlands as part of the extradition agreement to try him in a U.S. court.

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