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Canadian man formally sentenced to 26 years for role in suicide attack that killed 5 American soldiers

Iraq terrorist attack that killed Staff Sgt. Gary Lee Woods video still
Iraq terrorist attack that killed Staff Sgt. Gary Lee Woods video still
Published: Jun. 18, 2019 at 8:38 PM EDT
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. (WAVE) - The Canadian man who pled guilty for conspiring with a group of jihadists who committed a suicide attack that killed five American soldiers, including one from Kentucky, in Iraq on April 10, 2009, was formally sentenced on Tuesday.

Following the 26-year imprisonment, Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa, 51, will then have a lifetime of supervised release by United States District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf

“With today’s sentence, ‘Isa has been held accountable for his role in a deadly conspiracy that ultimately contributed to the tragic loss of five U.S. soldiers in Iraq,” stated United States Attorney Richard Donoghue. “This Office, together with the FBI, the NYPD and all the members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, will take every step necessary to apprehend and prosecute terrorists, wherever they are located, in furtherance of our fundamental mission of protecting the American people.”

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“Today’s sentence brings some measure of earthly justice to an individual involved in the deaths of five service members, but it cannot begin to compensate for the evil he contributed to or alleviate the pain of those families whose lives he changed forever,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers. “We in the National Security Division are inspired in our work by those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.”

'Isa was a member of a multinational terrorist network that helped those who wished to carry out suicide bombings travel to Iraq. On April 10, 2009, terrorists associated with the network carried out an attack on the United States Military’s Forward Operating Base Marez (“FOB Marez”) in Mosul, Iraq. Terrorists drove a truck laden with explosives drove to the gate of FOB Marez, and exchanged fire with Iraqi police officers guarding the base and then with an American convoy exiting the base.

The truck detonated alongside the last vehicle in the convoy, leaving a 60-foot crater in the ground.

Five American soldiers were killed in the blast:

  • Staff Sergeant Gary L. Woods, 24, of Lebanon Junction, Kentucky
  • Sergeant First Class Bryan E. Hall, 32, of Elk Grove, California
  • Sergeant Edward W. Forrest Jr., 25, of St. Louis, Missouri
  • Corporal Jason G. Pautsch, 20, of Davenport, Iowa
  • Army Private First Class Bryce E. Gaultier, 22, of Cyprus, California

While residing in Canada, the defendant communicated with Syria and Iraq-based members of the terrorist network, including certain individuals who conducted the April 10, 2009 attack. In those communications, the defendant suggested a contact to facilitate travel for the attackers from Syria into Iraq, in addition to offering words of encouragement and religious guidance. He also communicated with a group of prospective suicide bombers whose efforts to travel to Iraq were ultimately unsuccessful.

‘Isa has been incarcerated since his extradition from Canada in January 2015.

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