Majid Khan Helped Plot Indonesia Bombing, Attempted Assassination
Majid Khan, 32, pleaded guilty to helping al-Qaida plot attacks all over the world, including a 2003 car bombing in Indonesia that killed at least a dozen people and the attempted assassination of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
Michael Greenberger is the University of Maryland’s Center for Health and Homeland Security director. He said Khan’s plea deal means he’ll avoid a possible life sentence and the death penalty in exchange for information that could be extremely valuable in the fight against al-Qaida.
“Let me just say, the impact is huge,” Greenberger said. “He could identify more people than we know of who were involved in the 9/11 attacks and planned attacks thereafter. He could be a very helpful witness to the Defense Department in prosecuting other terrorists who have to go before military commissions.”
Khan was one of 14 terrorism suspects transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantanamo Bay nearly six year ago.
He’s a Pakistani national who moved to Owings Mills with his family as a teenager in 1996. He was granted asylum within two years.
Khan moved back to Pakistan in 2002, where he met Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.
According to prosecutors, Khan at one point discussed a plot to blow up underground fuel storage tanks in the U.S.
“He’s been off the street for many years, but even so, what we can learn from what was happening in the immediate wake of 9/11 will be very important, even today, in fending off terrorist attacks,” Greenberger said.
Khan will serve a sentence of no more than 19 years if he cooperates with authorities. Prosecutors said if he doesn’t, his sentence is capped at 25 years.
Khan’s lawyers said their client regrets his actions and “‘wishes he had never been involved with al-Qaida, ever.”