A 24-year-old Iraqi refugee accused of plotting an attack at two Houston malls pleaded guilty Monday to trying to help the self-declared Islamic State. Omar Faraj Saeed al Hardan, who moved to the U.S. in 2009, faces as much as 20 years in federal prison on charges of attempting to provide material support or resources to the terror group. In court Monday, Hardan said he pledged loyalty to ISIS in late 2014 and began training to use tactical weapons to carry out an attack. Homeland Security Special Agent Herman Wittliff testified this year that Hardan was planning to set off bombs in two Houston-area malls using cellphones, which were reportedly found in his apartment. According to CBS News, court documents show he made several statements in support of ISIS. “I want to blow myself up. I want to travel with the mujahideen. I want to travel to be with those who are against America. I am against America,” he was cited as saying. Hardan reportedly worked with another Iraqi refugee, who has been jailed on the same charges. He’s due to be sentenced Jan. 17 as part of a plea deal.
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