In 1999 virtually no one in the public square knew anything about the jihad against America. In 2012 virtually no on in the public square knows anything about the jihad against America, and so it is surprising and welcome news that this would-be mass murderer is getting justice. “U.S. court says ‘Millennium Bomber’ sentence too light,” by Dan Levine for Reuters, March 12 (thanks to Block Ness):
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Monday overturned the 22-year prison term of the “Millennium Bomber,” saying it was too lenient, and sent the case back to a lower court for re-sentencing.
Ahmed Ressam was convicted in connection with a plot to detonate explosives atLos [sic] Angeles International Airport in 1999 and sentenced to a 22-year prison term plus five years of supervised release. But prosecutors appealed the sentence, imposed by a Seattle-based federal judge, as too lenient.
A split 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the sentence on Monday, the latest turn in a case that has been litigated for years. The appeals court voted 7-4 that Ressam’s prison term was much shorter than that called for by U.S. sentencing guidelines.
The ruling largely upholds an earlier opinion by a three-judge 9th Circuit panel in 2010.
Ressam’s attorney Thomas Hillier said the latest ruling is a slight improvement compared to the one from 2010, which had removed the original sentencing judge, who has now been returned to the case.
The judge, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, had written newspaper opinion pieces to argue that the federal courts were the appropriate place to try accused terrorists, as opposed to military tribunals.
Ressam has been incarcerated since his arrest in 1999, Hillier said.
“The majority believes the sentence was too low and the majority rules,” Hillier said.
Ressam, trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan, had planned an attack for December 31, 1999, according to the opinion. But he was apprehended shortly beforehand while crossing the border from Canada into the United States, and a jury convicted him in 2001.
He later reached a deal with U.S. federal prosecutors to give information about other terrorism suspects in return for a shorter sentence. But Ressam angered prosecutors by refusing to cooperate further after early 2003.
The explosives found in Ressam’s possession were capable of producing a blast 40 times greater than that of a devastating car bomb, 9th Circuit Judge Richard Clifton wrote in the opinion.
“The crimes that Ressam sought to commit were horrific,” Clifton wrote. “The most important reason for our conclusion that the sentence imposed by the district court was substantively unreasonable is that the sentence did not properly account for those crimes.”…