Alleged would-be suicide bomber pleads guilty

July 30, 2012 - 7:35 PM
Chicago Terrorism Charges

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Shaker Masri, 29, of Chicago. On Monday, July 30, 2012, Masri, who is accused plotting a suicide bombing overseas and claiming he was inspired by a radical Muslim cleric, pleaded guilty at federal court in Chicago. Masri was arrested in 2010 after the FBI exposed his alleged plot to attend a Somalia training camp to become a suicide bomber for terrorist groups al-Qaida and al-Shabab. Masri's sentencing is Oct. 16. (AP Photo/U.S. Marshals Service, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man accused of plotting a suicide bombing overseas and claiming that he was inspired by a radical Muslim cleric pleaded guilty Monday.

The plea from Shaker Masri, 28, ends one of the last terrorism trials pending in the Chicago federal court. A plea deal was announced July 12, when Masri's attorney said the agreement was favorable to his client, though he declined to elaborate. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16.

Masri, who was born in Alabama and lived abroad before returning to the U.S. at age 18, was arrested in 2010 after the FBI exposed his alleged plot to attend a Somalia training camp to become a suicide bomber for terrorist groups al-Qaida and al-Shabab.

He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a violent extremist group and trying to offer material support by use of a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S.

The charges could carry a sentence of several decades in prison.

Masri allegedly told an informant he admired Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric believed to have inspired the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings and the failed Christmas bombing of a jet bound for Detroit. A U.S. drone attack killed al-Awlaki last year.