For Trying to Blow Up Fountain Place, Hosam Smadi's Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison

It was late on September 24, 2009, that

the U.S. Attorney's Office sent word

that FBI agents had arrested then-19-year-old Hosam Maher Husein Smadi for plotting to blow up Fountain Place on Ross Avenue -- a plot intercepted by federal agents, who ultimately provided the Jordanian-born Smadi with an inert car bomb. And after a day and a half of testimony in U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn's courtroom not far away, during which

his father said he was abused and ridiculed as a boy

, the story comes to an end -- with Smadi getting 24 years in prison.

On the other side is the full release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. But per Jason Trahan, Smadi, who pleaded guilty in May to one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction after several court hearings last fall, apologized in court today: "I'm very sorry for my actions."Judge Lynn said, well, that's nice and all, "but your actions were yours." Adds Assistant Attorney General David Kris, among the government officials quoted in the release on the other side, "The court's sentence of Mr. Smadi sends a clear message that there is a serious price to be paid by those who may be willing to carry out acts of violence in this country to further the terrorist cause."




DALLAS -- Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 20, who admitted attempting to bomb a downtown Dallas skyscraper, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to 24 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Smadi pleaded guilty in May 2010 to one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

"The court's sentence of Mr. Smadi sends a clear message that there is a serious price to be paid by those who may be willing to carry out acts of violence in this country to further the terrorist cause. I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors responsible for this successful investigation and prosecution," said Assistant Attorney General David Kris.

U.S. Attorney Jacks said, "I commend the FBI, the lawyers and support staff in the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the Counterterrorism Section at the Department of Justice for their excellent work in investigating and prosecuting this case. The security of the American people is the highest priority of the Department of Justice. Through the professionalism and hard work of many individuals, they were able to locate, identify and neutralize the threat presented by this individual. This case is an illustration of the diligence and hard work that is performed every day by men and women dedicated to the safety and security of this country."

Special Agent In Charge Robert E. Casey Jr., stated: "Today's sentencing reflects our commitment to protect the community through the FBI's Counter-terrorism strategy to detect, penetrate and disrupt acts of terrorism in the United States and to identify and fully investigate those individuals who choose to disregard the laws of this country and threaten the country's security to advance a violent extremist ideology. Much effort and many resources, from not only the FBI but other law enforcement agencies, were expended in investigating, tracking and ultimately arresting Hosam Maher Husein Smadi while at all times ensuring the public's safety. The FBI commends the work of the FBI's North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force investigators and the prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas, who worked countless hours to bring this investigation to its conclusion. We would also like to thank the Dallas Police Department, the Italy Police Department and the Ellis County Sheriff's Office for their assistance in this investigation."

According to documents filed, on September 24, 2009, Smadi knowingly took possession of a truck that contained a weapon of mass destruction, specifically a destructive device or bomb. The truck with the bomb inside was a vehicle borne improvised explosive device. Smadi believed that this was an active weapon of mass destruction, and while it was inert when Smadi took possession of it, it was a readily-convertible weapon of mass destruction.

Smadi knowingly drove the truck containing the bomb to Fountain Place, a 60-story public office building located at 1445 Ross Avenue in Dallas, and parked it in the public parking garage under the building. After parking the truck, Smadi activated a timer connected to the device, locked the truck, and walked away. Smadi walked out of the parking garage, crossed the street and got into a car with an undercover law enforcement agent. They drove a safe distance away and prepared to watch the explosion. Smadi, who believed the bomb would explode and cause extensive damage, used a cell phone to remotely activate the device.

The case was investigated by the FBI in conjunction with members of the FBI-sponsored North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson and Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerri Sims prosecuted.

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