Christopher Paul

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Christopher Paul
Born March 1, 1964 (1964-03) (age 54)

Christopher Paul (aka Paul Kenyatta Laws, Abdulmalek Kenyatta) is an American convert to Islam and member of al Qaeda, who has pleaded guilty to acts of terrorism. He is currently serving a 15-year prison term arising from those charges.

Early life[edit]

Born Paul Kenyatta Laws, he changed his name to Abdulmalek Kenyatta in 1989, but then to Christopher Paul in 1994.[1][2][3] Additional names have included Abdul Malek.[4] Paul is an American citizen, resident of the Columbus, Ohio, area, where he was born. He grew up in suburban Worthington, Ohio.[5]

He attended Thomas Worthington High School.[5] He then became a student at Columbus State Community College from 1988 to 1990.[5] It was during this period that he converted to Islam, changing his name to Abdulmalek Kenyatta.[5][6] From 1990 and 1994, he was taking training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan learning hand-to-hand combat and the use of weapons including rocket-propelled grenades. He also traveled countries, including Croatia, Austria, and Slovenia, before to Columbus in 1994, changing his name to Christopher Paul.[5] Paul took classes at Columbus State for an other 4 years, and was granted an associate degree in 1998.[5] He attended the Omar Ibnelkhattab Mosque at 580 Riverview Dr. in Columbus.[5]

Terrorist career[edit]

He received training from al-Qaeda in the early 1990s in Pakistan and Afghanistan.[7][3]

He fought on behalf of Islamist militant groups in Bosnia and Afghanistan in the early 1990s.[8] In Afghanistan, he is reported to have stayed in the Beit ur Salam guesthouse, a safe house reserved exclusively for graduates of Al Qaeda training camps.

Then in 1999 he was in Germany training terrorists in a local Islamist cell how to build carbombs and other explosive devices to blow up Americans vacationing in Europe.[8] He was also alleged, in August 2002, to have met two other men in a suburban Columbus coffee house where they discussed terrorist attacks. The other two men were convicted of separate acts: Nuradin Abdi for a plot to blow up an Ohio shopping mall, and Iyman Faris for a plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge.[9]

In 2003 Paul met with Iyman Faris, A Pakistani immigrant to the United States since convicted of terrorism, and Somali immigrant Nuradin Abdi, perpetrator of the 2004 Columbus, Ohio shopping mall bombing plot, to discuss a plan to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge.[10]

He was one of the conspirators in the failed 2002 Columbus, Ohio shopping mall bombing plot, together with Iyman Faris and Nuradin Abdi.[11]


Paul was indicted on April 12, 2007 on the following charges: conspiring to support terrorists, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing support to terrorists. He was charged with planning to set off bombs in Europe and the United States.[12] He initially pled innocent.[13]

In 2008 he pled guilty to plotting to bomb targets in Europe and the United States in a plea deal to obtain a lighter sentence.[12][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Welsh-Huggins, Andrew (2011). Hatred at Home: Al-Qaida on Trial in the American Midwest. Ohio University Press. p. 47. ISBN 0804011346. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Driehaus, Bob (13 April 2007). "U.S. Indicts an Ohio Man in Terror Conspiracy Case". New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "hio Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Bomb Targets in Europe and the United States" (PDF). Department of Defense. 2008-05-03. Archived from the original on 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  4. ^ Ryan, Jason (3 June 2008). "Ohio Al Qaeda Member Admits WMD Plot". ABC News. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Richards, Kirk (14 April 2007). "Terrorism suspect was once 'super nice kid'". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Larry Elder (2008). Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 1429929057. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Krenshaw, Martha (2017). Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions. Brookings Institution Press. p. 92. ISBN 0815727658. 
  8. ^ a b "US-born al-Qaeda member gets 20 years in prison". Daily Telegraph. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Ohio man pleads guilty in alleged terror plot",;_ylt=Aly91J9HRVRlSI03GwGoHfVvzwcF, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, AP, June 3, 2008
  10. ^ "Somali Immigrant Gets 10 Years for Plotting With Al Qaeda to Blow Up Ohio Shopping Mall". AP. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  11. ^ Welsh-Huggins, Andrew (31 July 2007). "Suspect Pleads Guilty in Ohio Mall Plot". Washington Post. AP. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Mikkelson, Randal (3 June 2008). "Qaeda-trained U.S. man pleads guilty in terror case". Reuters. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  13. ^ McCarthy, John (13 April 2007). "Resort Bomb Plot Suspect Pleads Innocent". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Bomb Targets in Europe and the United States". USDOJ. Retrieved 23 April 2017.