Ninth Circuit rules “millennium bomber” sentence too lenient

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco Feb. 2 vacated and remanded the 22-year sentence for so-called “millennium bomber” Ahmed Ressam, finding that a district court’s failure to follow sentencing guidelines resulted in an inappropriately lenient term. Ressam, a supposedly al-Qaeda-trained terrorist, was sentenced in 2005 upon conviction of plotting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve 1999. The court found that guidelines require a minimum 65-year term. The prosecution offered Ressam a reduced term in exchange for cooperation against other terrorist suspects, but Ressam failed to properly collaborate with government officials. (Jurist, Feb. 3)

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