The American Muslim on trial for plotting jihad spoke "of being devout in his faith." Obama say, "Respect it!"
Accused terrorist secretly recorded talking jihad Chron.com
They met at some of America's most iconic places - Starbucks, McDonald's, even Memorial Park - with their meetings secretly videotaped, as accused terrorist Barry Bujol and an FBI informant drove around the Houston area speaking in occasional Arabic about fighting a holy war against the United States.
Their conversation could not have turned more blunt, and perhaps more chilling than in May 2010, as the two drove through early morning darkness to the Port of Houston, where Bujol was to sneak aboard a ship leaving the country.
"Make me proud, you are going to join the best of the best: al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula," the operative tells Bujol.
"God willing," Bujol responds.
About an hour later, Bujol was surrounded by federal agents and placed under arrest in a dramatic conclusion to a two-year investigation that allegedly began as an attempt by the government to find out what Bujol was prepared to do, and stop him.
The concern, agents said, was he could be another American Taliban on the battlefields of Afghanistan or return to the United States to do harm.
"I've been searching adamantly for information about jihad and my responsibility as a Muslim in American," Bujol wrote in a message captured by the FBI. "I have been convinced beyond a doubt that I need to step up to the plate and contribute in some form or fashion."
A one-time computer repairman and Prairie View A&M University student, Bujol and the informant, named Mohammed al-Desari, were again face to face Wednesday during Bujol's trial in federal court here.
Wearing a black mask to hide his face, and surrounded by security personnel, the informant was escorted into court to testify against Bujol, who is charged with trying to aid al-Qaida as well as using a fake identification card to enter the port.
Testimony and taped conversations Wednesday chronicled the Hempstead man's alleged path to potential terrorism as he gradually bonded with al-Desari, who posed as an al-Qaida terrorist who was sent to the United States to target military bases.
Bujol, who converted to Islam, spoke repeatedly about the need to travel to the Middle East and join his brothers in jihad.
Could get 20 years
The recordings repeatedly show Bujol speaking of being devout in his faith, but also driven to join the war in Afghanistan.
"I've been thinking about this every day. I'm ready," Bujol says. "I may never see this place again and that is fine with me."
He offers his opinions about how to strike back at remotely piloted aircraft known as drones by going after their operators in the United States.
Bujol could face 20 years in prison.
Displeasure with U.S.
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