Minnesota man pleads guilty in attack on Gambian presidential State House


A Minnesota man pleaded guilty to two charges relating to his involvement in a plot to overthrow the government in his native Gambia.

Papa Faal, 46, of Brooklyn Park, admitted to buying eight semi-automatic weapons in Minnesota and shipping them to the West African country in barrels, and was part of a group plot to ambush President Yahya Jammeh, the Associated press reports.

After learning Jammeh was out of the country, the group instead decided to take the State House on December 30, but were met with resistance with soldiers killing one group of attackers.

Faal fled to neighboring Senegal after the attempt to restore democracy and make Texas businessman Cherno Njie interim leader of Gambia failed, Reuters reports. The news service said 10 to 12 conspirators fled after government guards killed one group of attackers.

Faal, who had not lived in Gambia for 23 years, told a court in August he was motivated by concern that elections in his homeland were being rigged, and the "plight of the Gambian people."

The Star Tribune reports sentencing guidelines call for a jail term of 51-63 months and a fine of $10,000-$100,000.

"The intent was not to kill anybody, and that was understood by all the members," Faal told the court, saying they were surprised at how much resistance they ran into.

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