Skip to comments.Ressam gets 22 years for millennium bomb plot
Posted on 12/03/2008 3:16:11 PM PST by jazusamo
Ahmed Ressam was resentenced this morning to 22 years in federal prison for conspiring to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport despite telling a judge that he recanted everything he has told the federal government about terrorist activities.
Federal prosecutors had urged U.S. District Judge John Coughenour to send Ressam to prison for life a sentence Ressam said he would accept now that he had cleared his conscience about his cooperation, which ended in 2003. Prosecutors pointed out that Ressam's defiance has cost two high-profile terrorism prosecutions so far, and that Ressam has actively tried to help the cases of two "terrorists" he had fingered years before.
Ressam, clad in prison khaki and speaking in Arabic through an interpreter, also recanted the testimony that led to the 2002 conviction of Mohktar Haouari in New York. Haouari was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2002 for being Ressam's contact in the U.S. and helping with logistics as Ressam moved to carry out his plan to set off a massive suitcase bomb in the Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium. Ressam testified during Haouari's trial.
"I did not know what I was saying," Ressam told the court, adding that the FBI and attorneys "put words in my mouth." Ressam said years of interrogations and solitary confinement gave him a "mental condition" that affected his memory.
U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan was dismayed with Coughenour's decision to reinstate the 22-year sentence first handed down in 2005. Ressam will be eligible for parole in 2018, at the age of 51.
Sullivan said he would seek permission from his superiors at the U.S. Department of Justice to appeal the judge's sentence.
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
He should have gotten live without parol. That’s one way to make them start thinking about what they are about to do.
That’s my view on it also. The US Attorneys are upset because his original sentence was 22 years, it was a light sentence because he cooperated. After he recanted much of his testimony against other terrorists this lame judge comes back and gives him the same sentence. Hopefully the prosecution appeals the sentence and wins the appeal.
Oh, come on.
We should let the guy out. The incarceration has affected him adversely...
Those guys he helped were just friends...
I think we are being too tough on him. Let’s let him go.
You people are way too tough with people blowing things up and all.
A Reagan appointee, sadly.
Lets all hope for the “Or not.” :)
I know the Ninth Circus is known for this sort of coddling but it really gets old. I suppose it’ll get worse with the One making nominations now.
Today, Dec 3rd 2008 is nine years almost to the day this POS was caught
He played with our system and abused the FBI and courts.
He should have been in the ground rotting away on Dec. 14 2000 or sooner, spinkled with pig blood
If it's this easy for terrorist to abuse the system under Bush, imagine how it will be under the "attuned one"
Hopefully he will meet dahmer’s fate in prison.
December 3, 2008
Note: The following text snippet is a quote:
MILLENNIUM BOMBER AGAIN SENTENCED TO 22 YEARS IN PRISON
AHMED RESSAM, 40, a native of Algeria, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 22 years in prison for his failed plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of life in prison for RESSAM, after he told the court that the information he had provided to the government to shorten his sentence was not true. United States Attorney Jeffrey Sullivan plans to ask the Department of Justice for permission to appeal the sentence as unreasonable for RESSAMs crime.
RESSAM was arrested December 14, 1999, as he tried to enter the United States at Port Angeles, Washington. RESSAM had the materials for a powerful explosive in the trunk of his rental car. RESSAM was driving off the ferry MV Coho from Victoria, BC when Customs and Border Protection officers grew suspicious about his nervous demeanor.
After an 18 day trial in the spring of 2001, RESSAM was convicted of nine counts: An Act of Terrorism Transcending a National Boundary; Placing an Explosive in Proximity to a Terminal; False Identification Documents; Use of a Fictitious Name for Admission; False Statement; Smuggling; Transportation of Explosives; Possession of an Unregistered Explosive Device; and Carrying an Explosive During the Commission of a Felony.
Facing a possible sentence of sixty-five years to life in prison, in early 2001, RESSAM agreed to provide information to the United States and testify against others. However, RESSAM ceased providing information in 2003, and claimed in court today that he was mentally incompetent when he provided the information. RESSAM asked the court to retract all that he had said and to sentence him to life in prison.
Prosecutors joined in the request that RESSAM be sentenced to life, noting that two key prosecutions have been dismissed because of his lack of cooperation. First Assistant United States Attorney Mark Bartlett said, This court has shown fairness and compassion and he has repaid that with contempt. RESSAM manipulated this court to get what he wanted. Bartlett pointed out that RESSAM was now trying to use his position as a cooperating defendant to help his fellow terrorists.
U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour re-imposed the sentence he had handed down in July 2005. Judge Coughenour claimed RESSAMs cooperation proved to be invaluable, and stated that he was even more confident today, that this is the right sentence.
The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Western District of Washington plans to ask for permission to appeal the sentence to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI investigated the case.
The case against RESSAM was prosecuted by the late Assistant United States Attorney F. Jerome Diskin, Assistant United States Attorney Andrew R. Hamilton, and Assistant United States Attorney Steven Gonzalez. Both Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Hamilton have now left the United States Attorneys Office. At todays sentencing hearing the United States was represented by U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan, First Assistant United States Attorney Mark Bartlett, and Appellate Chief Helen Brunner.
Note: The following post is a quote:
Court: Sentence for millennium plotter too lenient
KSTP.com ^ | 2/2/10 | AP
Posted on February 2, 2010 6:43:46 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo
A federal appeals court said Tuesday a 22-year prison sentence was too lenient for an al-Qaida-trained terrorist convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Day 2000.
A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Ahmed Ressam deserved a much longer prison term because he had reneged on a deal to cooperate with terrorism investigators around the world.
U.S. prosecutors said Ressam’s change-of-heart after two years of cooperation compromised at least two terrorist cases in the U.S., resulting in charges being dropped.
The appeals court also took the rare step of removing from the case the Seattle trial judge who imposed the initial sentence.
(Excerpt) Read more at kstp.com ...
Updated url for post no. 11:
And it only took 10 years!
Thanks for the ping and posts, y’all.
I completely missed this in the news and BTLD’s thread.
It’s great news but as you say, Glenn, it’s taken way too long.
It’s really surprising to me that the ninth circus went against one of their own but they did have one dissenter. *sigh*
NOTE The following SNIPPET is a quote:
Millennium Bomber Sentenced to 37 Years in Prison
Third Sentencing Hearing Following Lengthy Appeals Results in Prison Term for al Qaeda-Trained Terrorist
U.S. Attorneys Office
October 24, 2012
Western District of Washington
Ahmed Ressam, 45, a native of Algeria, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 37 years in prison for his failed plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. Prosecutors had sought a sentence that would keep Ressam in prison for life. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour acknowledged that Ressam was highly culpable and took substantial steps to carry out a horrific crime. However, the judge said a life sentence was too harsh and said it was unlikely Ressam would be involved in another violent conspiracy.
Ahmed Ressam is a convicted terrorist, who sought to kill innocent people gathered in a busy airport at the holidays. Only good fortune and alert officials disrupted his horrible plot, said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. This case demonstrates the strength of our nation. We afforded a man who sought to do us the greatest harm the full due process of the law. We will carefully review Judge Coughenours ruling. Our duty is to ensure a just result for the American people.
Ressam was arrested on December 14, 1999, as he tried to enter the United States at Port Angeles, Washington. Ressam had the materials for a powerful explosive in the trunk of his rental car. Ressam was driving off the ferry MV Coho from Victoria, British Columbia, when Customs and Border Protection officers grew suspicious about his nervous demeanor.
After an 18-day trial in the spring of 2001, Ressam was convicted of nine counts: an act of terrorism transcending a national boundary; placing an explosive in proximity to a terminal; false identification documents; use of a fictitious name for admission; false statement; smuggling; transportation of explosives; possession of an unregistered explosive device; and carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony.
Facing a possible sentence of 65 years to life in prison, in early 2001, Ressam agreed to provide information to the United States and testify against others. However, Ressam ceased providing information in 2003, and now claims that he was mentally incompetent when he provided the information. Prosecutors today recommended a sentence that would keep Ressam incarcerated for life, noting that two key prosecutions have been dismissed because of his lack of cooperation.
In 2005, and in a second sentencing hearing in 2008, Judge Coughenour sentenced Ressam to 22 years in prison. Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back for resentencing, finding that the 22-year sentence was unreasonably low.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI investigated the case.
The case against Ressam was prosecuted by the late Assistant United States Attorney F. Jerome Diskin, Assistant United States Attorney Andrew R. Hamilton, and Assistant United States Attorney Steven Gonzalez. Both Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Hamilton have now left the United States Attorneys Office. At todays sentencing hearing, the United States was represented by Helen Brunner, the Appellate Chief for the U.S. Attorneys Office.