The 22-year sentence a Seattle judge gave a man who plotted to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on the last day of 1999 is so soft it constitutes a procedural error, an appeals court ruled yesterday. The court ordered Algerian-born al-Qaeda member Ahmed Ressam to be resentenced by a different judge, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The sentencing judge failed to heed federal guidelines which recommended Ressam serve 65 years to life, the appeals court found, accusing the judge of failing to adequately protect the public. Ressam was arrested in Washington state in December1999, after driving a car packed with explosives off a ferry from Canada. He cooperated with investigators after his arrest, providing information on al-Qaeda’s recruitment and training activities, but later clammed up and withdrew his earlier statements.
(Read more Millennium bomber stories.)