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A Virginia man has pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing child pornography while working in Iraq as a contractor for the U.S. military in 2005, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia.

Ahmed Hasan Khan, of Woodbridge, Va., faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony count of possession of child pornography, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Smagala, who prosecuted the case.

Khan could also face a fine of up to $250,000 and be subject to supervised release for the rest of his life, court records say.

Khan was found to have about 150 pornographic images of children on his personal computer while working at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, a U.S. Attorney’s new release says.

In November 2005, the network administrator at Abu Ghraib notified the Army Criminal Investigation Command, or CID, that Khan appeared to be accessing child pornography on his computer after the administrator found a pornographic picture of a young girl on a Web site that Khan had visited, records say.

Khan later told CID he looked for child pornography through his company’s Internet service and downloaded to his hard drive pornographic pictures and videos of children from the age of toddlers up to 15 years old, records say.

Khan also said he belonged to newsgroups and other Web sites that he could use to search for updated pornographic pictures of children, records say.

“In all instances described above, the defendant, Ahmed Hasan Khan, knowingly and intentionally possessed child pornography and not by accident or mistake while employed as a civilian contractor accompanying U.S. Armed Forces at the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility, Baghdad, Iraq,” records say.

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service and federal authorities also investigated the case, the news release says.

After Khan’s security clearance was revoked, he returned to the United States, where he was prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, officials said.

Khan is free on bail and will be sentenced May 11, officials said.

His attorney, Suzanne Little, declined to comment.

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