This jihadist was caught plotting mass murder for Allah in December 1999. Since then, the courts have been wrangling over his sentence. U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour refused the government's request that he get 65 years to life, saying that we shouldn't be guided by fear. So if this jihadist gets out of prison and succeeds in murdering Infidels, Judge Coughenour can congratulate himself that he didn't give in to fear.
"Ressam sentenced to 37 years in prison," by Mike Carter for the Seattle Times, October 24 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Algerian Ahmed Ressam, the would-be "millennium bomber" who was arrested with bomb-making materials in Port Angeles in December 1999, was sentenced Wednesday morning in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 37 years in prison.
The government had sought a sentence of 65 years to life, much longer than the previous two 22-year sentences Ressam had been received. However, in sentencing Ressam on terrorism and bomb-related charges, U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour said "this case evokes our greatest fears. ... But fear is not, nor has it ever been, a guide for a sentencing judge. It is a foul ingredient ... "
The government sought the longer sentence because, federal prosecutors said, Ressam reneged on an agreement to cooperate with investigators. But Coughenour took the government to task, noting Ressam's refusal to cooperate was likely a "deranged protest" resulting from his poor treatment by authorities, including years in solitary confinement in the government's "supermax" prison in Florence, Colo.
"I will not sentence a man to 50 lashes with a whip and then 50 more for getting blood on the whip," said Coughenour. He called Ressam's deterioration in the past 13 years he's spent behind bars "marked and stunning."
"Judge me as you wish"
Ressam did not speak, but in a written statement submitted earlier he said his agreement to cooperate with the government was made under duress.
"I have no power to stop this injustice but only exonerate myself from it," the statement read. "You can judge me as you wish, I will not object to any of your sentences."
It marked the third time Ressam has come before Coughenour for sentencing. On two previous occasions, Coughenour sentenced Ressam to 22 years in prison, but both sentences were overturned.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Brunner argued that a life sentence was appropriate, given Ressam's refusal to cooperate, his efforts to undo the prosecutions he had been involved in, and the temerity shown in his letter where he suggests that if the U.S. looked "truthfully at yourselves you will see how many innocent people have been killed under the guise of various slogans."
Brunner suggested that this statement proved Ressam would continue to be a threat to the American people if ever let out of prison.
As far as the government was concerned, she said, Ressam was back in the same position he was when the jury convicted him as a terrorist in 2001.
Ressam was arrested Dec. 14, 1999, in Port Angeles after coming off the ferry from Victoria, B.C. Inspectors found electronic timers, powders and liquids in the trunk of his rental car that turned out to be the makings of a powerful bomb. The investigation that followed showed Ressam had been recruited by a radical Islamic cell in Montreal and had trained in Osama bin Laden-sponsored terrorism camps in Afghanistan. His target was Los Angeles International Airport....