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Ohio man charged with joining al-Qaida, alleged bomb plot

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal grand jury indicted a U.S. citizen on charges of joining al-Qaida and conspiring to bomb European tourist resorts and U.S. government facilities and military bases overseas.

    Christopher Paul, 43, of Columbus, trained with al-Qaida in the early 1990s, the indictment issued Wednesday says. The indictment says he told al-Qaida members in Pakistan and Afghanistan that he was dedicated to committing violent jihad.

    Paul is charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.

    Fred Alverson, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Columbus, said Thursday that he couldn't comment further on the case.

    Federal prosecutors planned to hold a news conference later Thursday.

    Paul was in the Franklin County Jail late Wednesday after a U.S. District Court hearing was postponed until his attorney, Don Wolery, could be present. Wolery did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday morning.

    The indictment says Paul traveled to Germany about April 1999 to train co-conspirators to use explosives to attack European and U.S. targets, including government buildings and vacation spots frequented by American tourists.

    Paul was born Paul Kenyatta Laws. He legally changed his name to Abdulmalek Kenyatta in 1989, then to Christopher Paul in 1994, according to the indictment said.

    Two other Columbus men have been charged in federal investigators' terrorism investigation. Iyman Faris was sentenced in 2003 to 20 years in prison for a plot to topple the Brooklyn Bridge. Nuradin Abdi, accused of plotting to blow up a Columbus-area shopping mall, is awaiting trial on charges including conspiring to aid terrorists.

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