[JURIST] Three Ohio men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for planning terrorist attacks on US military overseas [press release], according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. The men were recruited by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [BBC profile], who leads al Qaeda in Iraq, and were involved in recruiting other members starting in November 2004 to prepare for a "violent holy war" against the US and its allied countries. In an announcement Tuesday, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales called the criminal charges an important part of the fight against terrorism [prepared remarks]. Gonzales said:
We cannot wait until an attack happens. We will continue to use our criminal laws as Congress intended, to charge individuals once they conspire to provide support to terrorism or conspire to kill abroad. As alleged in the indictment, these defendants have been living in the United States where they have been engaging in weapons training, sympathizing with the terrorists, and seeking to provide help in order to kill people abroad, including our troops.The indictment [PDF text] does not specify whether any of the planned attacks were to be carried out in the near future, but alleges that the men learned how to create explosives and practiced at a shooting range. The three face charges of conspiring to kill or maim persons outside of the US and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. One of the men was also charged with threatening to kill or harm US President George Bush. If convicted, they could face life in prison. The three were arrested over the weekend and will be arraigned in federal courts Tuesday. MSNBC has more.