One of them, Papa Faal, 46, a US citizen of Gambian origin was arrested upon arrival in the United States for his involvement in a failed coup attempt in the Gambia on 30 December 2014. He was charged with conspiracy to violate the Neutrality Act by making an expedition against a friendly nation from the United States and conspiracy to export arms without a licence.
The former US army sergeant on Thursday 29 January pleaded guilty to the charges. On that day, Faal was not granted bail but yesterday he was granted bail. He is yet to be sentenced.
Faal said one person had given him funds to buy weapons and he had bought eight semiautomatic 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.”
In a similar vein Alagie Barrow, 41, was charged for his role in a recent attempted coup in The Gambia. Barrow is charged with conspiracy to violate the Neutrality Act by making an expedition against a friendly nation from the United States and conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
According to the criminal complaint, in December 2014, Barrow travelled from the United States to The Gambia for the purpose of overthrowing the Gambian government. Barrow is a dual U.S./Gambian citizen and a resident of Tennessee.
According to the criminal complaint, Barrow traveled to The Gambia as part of the “advance party.” Barrow assisted other members of the group when they arrived in The Gambia and was responsible for delivering them to safe houses. Barrow also conducted reconnaissance of the group’s target, the State House.
Another US citizen of Gambian origin, Cherno Njie, 57, of Austin, Texas is accused of leading and bankrolling the coup attempt. He is still held in custody awaiting trial.
He appeared in court in Baltimore earlier in January and is being taken to Minneapolis to face charges. He has not yet been asked to plead.