RealNews

Al Qaeda Suspect Escapes Life Term for Comb Attack

A federal judge on Thursday jailed a suspected al Qaeda member for up to 21 years and 10 months for stabbing a prison guard in the eye with a sharpened comb, a lesser term than the life sentence sought by prosecutors. U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts imposed a term from 17-1/2 years to 22 years and 10 months on Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, saying the government had failed to show the stabbing was part of a broader “terrorism” scheme. Salim, who prosecutors say is a high-ranking member of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, entered a guilty plea in the near fatal stabbing of the guard in April 2002. Prosecutors had argued that Salim’s attack, in which the weapon penetrated the corrections officer’s brain, was part of a broad plan to take hostages in the facility’s high-security area and free other suspected al Qaeda prisoners. Full Story

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