The guilty pleas come as expected. The names on the hit list should be made public — provided that protection is accorded to the people on the list. I am sure that the identities of those targeted would be illuminating in many ways.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A National Weather Service employee and his British-born wife pleaded guilty Wednesday to domestic terrorism charges of lying to the FBI about a hit list of possible targets who the couple suspected were enemies of Islam.
Paul Rockwood Jr. and his wife, Nadia Rockwood, of King Salmon, Alaska, were charged with lying about the list and making false statements about domestic terrorism during interviews with FBI agents in May.
The FBI alleged that the list had about 15 targets. Its contents were not made public, but officials said none of those targeted lived in Alaska.
Under a plea deal, Paul Rockwood, 35, who worked as a meteorological technician for the weather service, will get eight years in prison, the maximum allowed. His 36-year-old wife, who is five months pregnant, will be allowed to return to the United Kingdom and serve five years of probation there.
Neither was held in custody prior to the hearing.
U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline did not immediately sign off on the plea deal. He set sentencing for Aug. 23.
Prosecutors alleged that Paul Rockwood, also known as “Bilal,” converted to Islam about a decade ago and began studying the teachings of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has professed hatred for the United States and supports acts of terrorism.
According to court documents, Paul Rockwood converted to Islam in late 2001 or 2002, when the couple lived in Virginia.
“After his conversion, and while residing in Virginia, Rockwood became a strict adherent to the violent Jihad-promoting ideology of cleric Anwar al-Awlaki,” documents said. “This included a personal conviction that it was his religious responsibility to exact revenge by death on anyone who desecrated Islam.”…