The sentencing Wednesday in U.S. District Court by Judge John Coughenour was less than the government had hoped because, federal prosecutors said, Ressam had reneged on an agreement to cooperate with investigators.
The judge was critical of the prosecutors during the hearing, noting Ressam's refusal was likely a "deranged protest" of his poor treatment by authorities, including solitary confinement in a Florence, Colo., "supermax" prison.
Ressam, 45, an Algerian national, has already served 13 years behind bars, on terror and bomb-making convictions. On two previous occasions Ressam received sentences of 22 years each, but both sentences were overturned, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.
Ressam was arrested in 1999 in Port Angeles, Wash., arriving from Canada in a rental car containing electronic timers and bomb-making ingredients. The investigation that followed showed he had been recruited by a Montreal-based radical Islamic cell and trained in Afghanistan terrorist camps in Afghanistan, his target the busy airport in Los Angeles.