US won't appeal 37-year sentence in millenium terror bomb plot

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SEATTLE (AP) — A 37-year prison sentence will stand for an Algerian man convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport at the turn of the millennium.

The Justice Department said Wednesday it won’t appeal the punishment for Ahmed Ressam (AH’-med rehs-AHM’), an al-Qaida-trained terrorist who was arrested driving into Washington state from Canada with a trunk full of explosives in December 1999.

U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour sentenced Ressam for the third time last month, after two prior attempts were struck down by appeals courts.

Federal prosecutors argued for a life sentence. But Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says the 37-year term will keep Ressam in custody until he’s over 60, and at that point he’ll be deported and could face additional charges in Algeria.

Ressam’s lawyers also decided not to appeal.

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