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Strict Sentences Meted in Va. Jihad Case

A federal judge imposed a life prison sentence yesterday on one member of the alleged “Virginia jihad network” and an 85-year term on another. In an unusual criticism of her own ruling, she said she found it “appalling” but had no choice under strict sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said the 85-year sentence she handed down to defendant Seifullah Chapman, 31, was “sticking in my craw.” Chapman and co-defendants Masoud Khan, 32, and Hammad Abdur-Raheem, 36, were convicted by Brinkema in March of conspiring to aid a Muslim group fighting India that the government has deemed a terrorist organization. “What Mr. Chapman has been found guilty of is a serious crime, but there are murderers who have served far less time,” the judge told an Alexandria courtroom packed with supporters of the three men. “I have sentenced al Qaeda members who were planning attacks on these shores to far less time.” Full Story

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