Al Qaeda fighter convicted in deaths of U.S. troops

A federal jury in Brooklyn convicted an admitted al Qaeda operative on several terrorism charges, including conspiring to murder American troops in Afghanistan and conspiring to bomb the U.S. embassy in Nigeria.

Federal authorities said Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, 46, possibly a citizen of Niger, went to Afghanistan shortly before September 11, 2001, to join al Qaeda. He learned how to fight and use explosives at al Qaeda training camps and then operated under one of Osama bin Laden's deputies.

On April 25, 2003, Harun and other al Qaeda fighters attacked a U.S. military patrol, killing Pfc. Jerod Dennis, 19, of Oklahoma, and Airman 1st Class Raymond Losano, 24, of Texas, authorities said. Harun was wounded, but escaped to Pakistan.

Federal authorities said Harun traveled to Africa, where he began to plan an attack on the U.S. embassy in Nigeria. The attack never happened, and Libyan authorities arrested Harun in 2005 and held him until 2011, when he was released. Then Italian authorities arrested him.

U.S. prosecutors indicted Harun on February 21, 2012. Italy's justice minister ordered his extradition on September 14 to face the charges in Brooklyn.

"Today's guilty verdict ensures that the defendant will be held accountable for his acts of terrorism," Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord said in a statement. "I want to thank the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors whose hard work and dedication made this result possible."

Harun was also known by the aliases "Spin Ghul," "Abu Tamim," "Esbin Gol," "Isbungoul," "Joseph Johnson," and "Mortala Mohamed Adam," the U.S. attorney said.

Harun refused to attend the first day of trial. That day, his lawyer told the jury that Harun's admission of allegiance to al Qaeda doesn't mean that he is guilty of everything the feds had accused him of doing, the AP reported.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan will sentence Harun in June 22. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.