HOUSTON – A Houston man suspected of plotting to blow up Houston malls admitted in court Monday that he tried to work for the terror group ISIL.
Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, 24, pleaded guilty to providing material support or resources to ISIL.
Federal investigators began investigating the Iraqi refugee in 2014 after he told a federal source that he wanted to travel overseas to support ISIL in fighting jihad. The feds say Al Harden, who came to the United States in 2009, underwent training with an AK-47 and expressed interest in learning how to turn cell phones into detonators for IEDs.
According to the plea agreement, Al Hardan took an oath of loyalty to ISIL in November of 2014 and began supporting the terror group publicly on social media.
He also made numerous statements about his plans to travel to Syria and fight alongside ISIL and become a martyr.
“I want to blow myself up. I want to travel with the Mujahidin. I want to travel to be with those who are against America. I am against America,” Al Hardan wrote.
Investigators say they found evidence that Al Hardan wanted to blow up the Galleria and Sharpstown Malls.
Al Hardan will be sentenced in January. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.