|Born||March 1, 1964 (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.
Born Paul Kenyatta Laws, he changed his name to Abdulmalek Kenyatta in 1989, but then to Christopher Paul in 1994. Additional names have included Abdul Malek. Paul is an American citizen, resident of the Columbus, Ohio, area, where he was born. He grew up in suburban Worthington, Ohio.
He attended Thomas Worthington High School. He then became a student at Columbus State Community College from 1988 to 1990. It was during this period that he converted to Islam, changing his name to Abdulmalek Kenyatta. 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. Paul took classes at Columbus State for an other 4 years, and was granted an associate degree in 1998. He attended the Omar Ibnelkhattab Mosque at 580 Riverview Dr. in Columbus.
He fought on behalf of Islamist militant groups in Bosnia and Afghanistan in the early 1990s. 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. 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.
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.
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. He initially pled innocent.
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- Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Hatred at Home: Al-Qaida on Trial in the American Midwest (Chapter 11,) Ohio University Press (2011) ISBN 0804011346
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