‘Millennium Bomber’ gets 37-year sentence for LAX plot
Original sentence deemed too lenient
LOS ANGELES, Calif. —An al-Qaida-trained Algerian terrorist—dubbed the “millennium bomber”—was re-sentenced today to 37 years in prison for plotting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.
Ahmed Ressam, whose original 22-year prison term was deemed too lenient by a federal appeals court, was caught at the U.S.-Canada border in December 1999 with explosives capable of producing a blast 40 times greater than a car bomb.
Ressam was recruited by al-Qaida and trained to build bombs in Afghanistan. He was one of four militants identified as part of the plot to set off explosions at public venues during the New Year’s Eve celebrations ushering in 2000.
Ressam cooperated with interrogators after his 2001 conviction, providing federal agents with information on other al-Qaida operatives, including alleged co-conspirators held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
His original 22-year sentence, including a 10-year minimum applied for carrying explosives during the commission of a felony, was imposed by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour in Seattle in 2005.
It was the middle ground between the 35 years requested by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the 12 1/2 years proposed by Ressam’s federal public defenders.
In March, a divided 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the case sent back to Coughenour for re-sentencing.
Ressam, now 45, is incarcerated at the federal “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colo.
If Pakistan cannot or will not take out these high-level terrorists targets and we have actionable intelligence about where they are, then I would take action to protect the American people. I firmly believe that if we know the whereabouts of bin Laden and his deputies and we have exhausted all other options, we must take them out.
Sen. Barack Obama
Op-Ed in the Globe Gazette
Mason City, Iowa
Aug. 12, 2007
HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Calif. — A 24-year-old soldier from Hacienda Heights died Tuesday in combat in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said today.
Spc. William J. Gilbert, 24, of Hacienda Heights, died from wounds inflicted by an improvised explosive May 14 in Senjaray, Afghanistan. The infantryman was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. He was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The body of one of the two men accused of pulling off the Boston Marathon attack has been buried in Virginia, one of his uncles said Friday — a development that local officials said caught them totally “off guard.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s remains were accepted “by an inter-faith coalition in that community — they responded to our calls,” his uncle Ruslan Tsarni, of Maryland, told CNN. The body was buried in a Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, according to Tsarni.
Following her tenure as a multiple-term representative from California’s 36th Congressional District, Jane Harman has served for the past three years as the first female director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington, D.C.-based foreign policy think tank. In that capacity, she continues her interest in matters of national security, which she addressed at a town hall meeting recently at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
His eyes moist and lower lip trembling, Clint Romesha nodded haltingly at family, comrades, military brass and the president standing to applaud him for receiving the nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.
He never smiled during the White House ceremony on Monday and later explained why in a statement to reporters.
“I stand here with mixed emotions of both joy and sadness today,” he said, describing how he felt “conflicted” about the medal around his neck.