Convicted bomb plotter sentenced to prison

Dec. 4, 2008 at 8:12 AM
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SEATTLE, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Accused terrorist Ahmed Ressam has been resentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting the millennium bombing of the Los Angeles International Airport.

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour handed out the same sentence in a Seattle court he set in 2005, which was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court though the conviction stood, and despite the fact that Ressam recanted his testimony about terrorist activities.

The prosecution wanted a life-in-prison sentence the second time around but the judge cited the significance of Ressam's earlier cooperation, which he said ended at least partly because of the government's "harsh treatment," The Seattle Times reported Thursday.

"I did not know what I was saying," Ressam told the court, speaking in Arabic through an interpreter. He said the FBI and attorneys "put words in my mouth." He claimed years of interrogations and solitary confinement gave him a "mental condition" that affected his memory, the Times reported.

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