AFRICANGLOBE – A former US army sergeant has pleaded guilty to involvement in the December 30th attack on Gambia’s State House. Papa Faal, 46, who has dual American and Gambian nationality, was arrested after he returned to the United States.
In court in the city of Minneapolis on Thursday, he admitted conspiring to carry out the attack and conspiring to export weapons without a licence. He now faces jail in US.
The plotters, led by former State Guard Commander Lamin Sanneh, had attacked the presidency in Banjul but were repelled by the gallant soldiers of the Presidential Guard.
Faal said one person had given him funds to buy weapons and he had bought eight semiautomatic rifles in Minnesota. He broke them down into their constituent parts and shipped them to Gambia hidden in barrels.
US officials found rifle manuals and receipts at Faal’s home, as well as satellite images of Gambia in a folder marked “top secret”. Faal will be sentenced at a later date.
Cherno Njie, 57, of Austin, Texas appeared in a Baltimore court last month as the second accused. He was charged for leading and bankrolling the State House attack. He has not yet been asked to plead.
Meanwhile, US prosecutors charged a third man Friday for the same State House attack. Alagie Barrow, 41, is also charged with conspiracy to violate the Neutrality Act, which prohibits US citizens or residents from taking up arms or plotting against a nation at peace with America, and conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
From August to October last year, the men had purchased numerous arms, including M4 semi-automatic rifles, ammunition and equipment, including night-vision goggles and bulletproof vests, and sent them to Gambia for their attack.
A press release published on the FBI’s official website said this investigation is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its partners on Joint Terrorism Task Forces in multiple field offices. Assistant Attorney General Carlin and U.S. Attorney Luger thank the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors in multiple offices who are responsible for this ongoing investigation.
“Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles Kovats and John Marti of the District of Minnesota are prosecuting this case, with assistance from Richard Scott, a Deputy Chief in the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. A number of other U.S. Attorney’s Offices, including those in the Middle District of Tennessee, District of Maryland and the Western District of Texas provided critical support during the investigation,” the release concluded.