Man convicted in terror plans sentenced to 13 years
A ponytailed wannabe terrorist from Staten Island convicted of lying to federal agents about his plan to travel to Pakistan to engage in jihad was sentenced to 13 years in prison in federal court in Brooklyn .
Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 23, was arrested in Hawaii in 2010, and was also accused of trying to sign up for the Army so that he could turn on troops in the field, promoting violent jihad on websites, and of trying to go to Somalia as well as Pakistan to fight.
The 13-year sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano was a middle ground between the 6 1/2 years called for under advisory sentencing guidelines and the statutory maximum of 21 years prosecutors asked for.
Vitaliano said Shehadeh had the aspirations of an "impressionable and immature young man," but said he could have done real harm if he hadn't been stopped before his aspirations ripened into crimes of terrorism.
"I hope you can come out a far more productive citizen," he told Shehadeh, who did not speak at the sentencing.
In a letter to Vitaliano, Shehadeh renounced indiscriminate terrorism, claimed he helped the FBI capture subway bomb plotter Adis Medunjanin, a mosque acquaintance, and said an anti-jihad website he wanted to develop could have stopped the Boston Marathon bombers.
Prosecutors said the claim about helping to capture Medunjanin was a lie, and said his continuing grandiose historic ambitions were "deeply disturbing."