Libya 'plotted to kill' Saudi Crown Prince

 

A prominent US Muslim activist admitted to being involved in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's de facto leader and pleaded guilty to illegal financial dealings with Libya.

Abdurahman al-Amoudi, a naturalized US citizen born in Eritrea, pleaded guilty to three charges as part of a plea deal with the government. Under the deal, al-Amoudi faces a maximum sentence of 23 years in prison and the remaining 31 charges against him are dropped.

In court documents detailing the plea Al-Amoudi (52) the founder of the American Muslim Council and president of the American Muslim Federation, disclosed details of a 2003 plot by Libya to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

Al-Amoudi admitted to contacting Saudi dissidents in London on behalf of some Libyan government officials who wanted them to kill Abdullah, the documents showed.

Al-Amoudi said he had been summoned to Tripoli by a Libyan official who said he was upset at how Abdullah had treated Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi during an Arab League Conference in March 2003.

At the summit, Abdullah and Col Gaddafi clashed publicly when the Libyan leader criticised Saudi Arabia for hosting US forces ahead of the Iraq war. The Saudi walked out angrily pointing his finger at Col Gaddafi and questioning how he had come to power.

In Tripoli, two weeks after the summit, the Libyan official told al-Amoudi he wanted to punish the Saudis and cause disruption and "headaches" in Saudi Arabia.

At later meetings in the spring of 2003 with various officials including one referred to in the court documents as a "high-ranking Libyan government official", al-Amoudi was told to have the Saudi dissidents arrange to assassinate Abdullah.

FBI officials have said that al-Amoudi told them the plot was approved by Gaddafi even as the Libyan leader was working to improve ties with the United States. Libya has denied accusations of the assassination plot.

The United States has said it is investigating the plot allegations. The investigation began as the United States and Britain were welcoming Col Gaddafi back into the international community after he vowed to renounce terrorism and decided to dismantle his illegal weapons of mass destruction.

The US government had originally accused al-Amoudi of being involved in a number of groups that provided financial assistance to Hamas and al Qaeda - which the US government has labeled "foreign terrorist organisations."

Instead al-Amoudi pleaded guilty to illegally receiving and attempting to export $340,000 in cash while in London in August 2003. The money was from the World Islamic Call Society, a group controlled by the government of Libya.