An al-Qaeda terrorist operative facing sentencing in a New York court next week has revealed that late Islamist bomb-making instructor Anwar al-Awlaki—the first U.S. citizen whose death by drone strike without a trial was authorized by President Barack Obama—had encouraged the operative to target both Americans and Israelis at London’s Heathrow Airport.
The American-born al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen in 2011. Before his death, he became a major jihadi preacher in the West.
Minh Quang Pham, a Vietnamese-British man who had converted to Islam and joined al-Qaeda, said al-Awlaki told him to use bombs to kill Americans and Israelis, according to court documents cited by the New York Times. In particular, Pham revealed that al-Awlaki gave him $10,000 to carry out an attack at Heathrow Airport.
Pham, who never went through with those attacks, has pleaded guilty to three terror-related charges for his involvement with al-Qaeda. He will be sentenced on Monday.