Skip to comments.(LA) Airport bomb plotter is imprisoned for 22 years (Algerian terrorist)
Posted on 07/27/2005 4:43:36 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
The Algerian terrorist who plotted to blow up Los Angeles International Airport at the height of New Year celebrations five years ago was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Wednesday.
Defence lawyers had asked for 12½ years for Ahmed Ressam, 38, while prosecutors wanted 35 years.
Mr Ressam, who had briefly co-operated with authorities in tracking down other terrorists, said nothing in court, but Thomas Hillier, a federal public defender, said his client had given John Coughenour, a US district judge, a note prior to the sentencing.
The note, according to Mr Hillier, said: I am sorry for what I did. I know it was wrong, and I no longer believe in acts of violence.
The five years Mr Ressam has already spent in custody will count as part of the sentence. Prosecutors argued that because he had stopped helping them, the 27-year sentence that was part of a deal for his co-operation in 2002 should be increased.
Mr Ressam's refusal to co-operate further has placed the cases against two collaborators in the bomb plot in jeopardy, prosecutors said. They said the government would have to dismiss the case against Rachid Boukhalfa, known as Abu Doha, a radical Muslim imam awaiting extradition from Britain to stand trial for allegedly masterminding the plot to blow up the Los Angeles airport, and a case against alleged co-conspirator Samir Ait Mohamed.
Mr Ressam was stopped when he tried to drive a car full of explosives from Canada in 1999. He intended to place those bombs in a crowded airport in Los Angeles at the height of the millennium and kill as many people as he could, said John McKay, US attorney. He's going to go to prison and that's where he belongs.
Too light a sentence.
More proof that the judiciary is soft on terrorism.
My opinion on hearing the sentence was, who screwed up, this guy should have gotten the chair, preferably forthwith, and lots of advertising of time and place, visitors welcome. Better do it now before our children start reaping the whirlwind of our inaction. Terrorists need to be dispatched not tomorrow, but yesterday.