Drone Bomb Plot Suspect Pleads Guilty on Immigration Charge | NBC Connecticut

Drone Bomb Plot Suspect Pleads Guilty on Immigration Charge



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    FBI officials arrested a Moroccan national in Connecticut in an alleged plot to fly bombs on drone-like devices into a school and a federal building.

    A Moroccan national accused in a plot to fly bombs on drone-like devices into a school out of state and a federal building in Connecticut pleaded guilty on Thursday to perjury on an immigration matter.

    When authorities arrested El Mehdi Semlali Fathi, 26, in April, they said they found wires and tools in his Bridgeport apartment.

    He was charged with immigration-related crimes for allegedly staying in the U.S. for seven years after his student visa expired after flunking out of Virginia International University.

    The FBI said Fathi targeted an out-of-state school and a federal building in Connecticut. The exact locations weren't released.

    Fathi came to Connecticut in 2011, after being released from custody in Virginia and his immigration case was transferred to an immigration judge in Hartford.

    When a federal criminal investigation in Fathi starting in January 2014, he was living in Bridgeport with someone he met while he was in prison in Virginia, according to the affidavit.

    Authorities recorded several of Fathi’s conversations and said he admitted to fabricating claims made in his application for refugee status and laughs because he cannot believe a judge believed him, the affidavit states.  

    The court documents go on to state that Fathi spoke at least twice about his bombing plans, including why and how he chose a certain location.

    Fathi will be sentenced on October 20.

    He also agreed to inform the immigration court that he falsified his refugee application, as well as perjured himself, and will accept a final order of removal to Morocco, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

    His public defender declined to comment after the arrest in April.

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