Papa Faal Pleads Guilty To Plotting To Overthrow Gov’t

A former US army sergeant has pleaded guilty to involvement in aPapa Faal
failed coup attempt in the Gambia last December.
Papa Faal, 46, who has dual American and Gambian nationality, was
arrested after he returned to the US.
In court in the city of Minneapolis on Thursday, he admittedconspiring to carry out a coup and conspiring to export weapons
without a licence.
The plotters had attacked the presidential palace in Banjul but were
repelled by guards.
Several were killed and others, including Faal, escaped.
“The intent was not to kill anybody” unless they were fired on, Faal
told the court.
“We were surprised by the fact that we had more resistance than anticipated.”
Faal said one person had given him funds to buy weapons and he had
bought eight semi-automatic rifles in Minnesota.
He broke them down into their constituent parts and shipped them to
Gambia hidden in barrels.
US officials found rifle manuals and receipts at Faal’s home, as well
as satellite images of Gambia in a folder marked “top secret”.
Faal will be sentenced at a later date.
Documents submitted to the court said the plotters had originally
planned to intercept the convoy of President Yahya Jammeh but switched
their attention to the palace when they learned that he was out of the
country.
Another US citizen of Gambian origin, Cherno Njie, 57, of Austin,
Texas is accused of leading and bankrolling the coup attempt.
He appeared in court in Baltimore earlier this month and is being
taken to Minneapolis to face charges. He has not yet been asked to
plead.
Another citizen of Gambian origin, Alagie Barrow was arrested a few
days ago and preferred with the same charges.
Court documents say the conspirators’ plan was for Mr Njie to take
power if the coup succeeded.
Jail terms vary from 51 to 63 months and a fine of $10,000 to $100,000. U.S.
In an armed attack on state house on 30 December 2014, four of the
attackers were killed, one injured and others escaped. The injured
attacker is still held in custody. Papa Faal, Cherno Njie and Alagie
Barrow returned to the USA after their escape but were arrested upon
their arrival there.