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Terrorist resentenced to life in prison, says he hopes to appeal

April 24, 2013 at 7:12 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, April 24 (UPI) -- A federal judge in New York resentenced Wadih El-Hage, who was Osama bin Laden's secretary, to life in prison for conspiring to commit terrorism.

When U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan resentenced El-Hage, 52, to life in prison Tuesday, he said he thought if El-Hage were ever freed, he would work to advance terrorist acts against the United States "until your last breath," The New York Times reported Wednesday

"You sir, in my judgment, are a committed terrorist who has betrayed your country," Kaplan said.

El-Hage is a Lebanese-born American citizen.

He is serving a life sentence at the supermax prison in Florence, Colo.

El-Hage and three others were convicted in May 2001 of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism, including the 1998 bombings that killed 224 people at U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2008, an appeals court upheld the conviction but ordered reconsideration of the life sentence.

El-Hage Tuesday spoke of the importance of obeying the Koran then charged the jury in his trial was biased, the instructions were legally off and he should have been allowed to testify, the Times said

He finished by saying the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States and Hurricane Sandy were Allah's response to the injustices he suffered, the Times said.

"Then came down God's severe and swift punishment on this district, on this town, for this injustice," El-Hage said. "And the whole town came down on its knees, and the country followed."

He also said he hoped to appeal his case, alleging he was inadequately represented.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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