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Canadian man pleads not guilty to U.S. terrorism charges

Five American soldiers were killed in truck-bomb attack in Iraq

A Canadian man who had been extradited to the United States pleaded not guilty to federal terrorism charges that he sent money and long-distance support to jihadists who used a truck bomb to attack a U.S. base in Iraq where five Americans were killed, officials said.

Faruq Khalil Muhammad `Isa entered his plea in federal court in Brooklyn on Saturday. He was ordered held without bail on charges of conspiring to kill Americans and providing material support to terrorists without ever leaving Canada. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Muhammad `Isa, who is also known as Sayfildin Tahir Sharif, is a Canadian citizen and an Iraqi national who was arrested in 2011 on a U.S. warrant. He was held in Edmonton, Canada, and unsuccessfully claimed the United States had no jurisdiction.

Muhammad `Isa, 36, was brought to New York from Canada on Friday.

In a statement, U.S. Atty. Loretta Lynch, who has been nominated to succeed Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., said the case “demonstrates to those who orchestrate violence against our citizens and our soldiers that there is no corner of the globe from which they can hide from the long reach of the law.”

Prosecutors accused Muhammad ‘Isa of working with a militant network that conducted multiple suicide bombings against U.S. military personnel in Iraq, including a truck bombing on April, 10, 2009, at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul where the five Americans died.

The group also staged a suicide bombing on an Iraqi police station on March 31, 2009, that killed seven people, according to the extradition request.

The court papers allege that Muhammad `Isa admitted that he corresponded by email with two of the terrorists while they were in Syria, and that they were on a mission to kill Americans. He is also accused of sending the group $700 by wire.

U.S. authorities say that the day after the attack on the U.S. base, Muhammad `Isa asked in an electronic communication, “Did you hear about the huge incident yesterday? Is it known?” He also identified the bomber as “one of the Tunisian brothers,” to which a member of the network responded, “Praise God.”

No date was set for the next court appearance.

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