By Tom Hays
NEW YORK — A U.S. citizen accused of abandoning his birth nation to fight for al-Qaida was to be put on trial Tuesday, a day after the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, in a case that hinges partly on fingerprints found on an unexploded bomb.
Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, who was born in Houston and raised in Dubai, was captured by security forces in Pakistan in 2014. His case has drawn extra attention because of reports American officials had debated whether to try to kill him in a drone strike, a step almost never taken against U.S. citizens. The administration of President Barack Obama ultimately decided to try for a capture and civilian prosecution instead.
Farehk, 31, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other crimes. There was no response to a request for comment