San Francisco A federal appeals court says a 22-year prison sentence is too lenient for an al-Qaida-trained terrorist convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport at the turn of the millennium.
A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the sentence Tuesday. It also removed the Seattle trial judge from the case and assigned the re-sentencing of Ahmed Ressam to another judge.
Border agents in Washington state arrested Ressam in December 1999 after he entered the United States from Canada on a ferry with a car packed with explosives.
A judge cited Ressam’s cooperation with investigators in meting out the original sentence. But since Ressam recanted his cooperation after two years, the appeals court says he deserves a longer sentence.