RealNews

Judge warns feds to reward Ressam as promised

Would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam should be rewarded for providing “startlingly helpful information” in the government’s war on terrorism, a federal judge here said yesterday. U.S. District Judge John Coughenour, who presided at Ressam’s 2001 trial for smuggling bomb components in from Canada, said he worried that Justice Department officials in “the center of the universe” — Washington, D.C. — might renege on a May 2001 deal that promised Ressam a reduced sentence for his cooperation. The judge pushed prosecutors here to file a formal agreement that confirmed Ressam’s cooperation and agreed to a sentence less than the up to 130 years called for in mandatory guidelines. Ressam, an Algerian who became radicalized in a Montreal terrorism cell in the 1990s, has been held in solitary confinement since his December 1999 arrest in Port Angeles. He had planned to detonate a suitcase bomb at Los Angeles International Airport at the turn of the millennium. Full Story

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