A British man accused of helping the late al-Qaida henchman Anwar al Awlaki produce the jihadist propaganda magazine “Inspire” faces a minimum of 30 years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Friday to aiding a terrorist organization.
Vietnamese-born Minh Quang Pham, 33, who was extradited to the United States and charged last year, admitted to providing material support to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula by helping al Awlaki during a trip to Yemen in 2010.
He also admitted to receiving military training and carrying a machine gun. A prosecutor said the government would also have proved at trial that al Awlaki gave him $10,000 to carry out a bombing at Heathrow Airport, but Pham’s lawyer said he did nothing to pursue that mission.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan told Pham that he would face a mandatory minimum of 30 years up to life imprisonment at his sentencing on April 14, and also would likely be deported from the United States when his sentence is finished.
Pham’s trial was scheduled for Feb. 2. His defense lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, had claimed that, as a Muslim, Pham couldn’t get an impartial jury because of an atmosphere of “Islamophobia and hatred of Muslims” created by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.