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Crime & Justice

Algerian terrorist sentenced to 37 years in prison for LAX bomb plot

A file photo of the entrance to LAX.
A file photo of the entrance to LAX.
Getty Images

An Algerian terrorist was sentenced Wednesday to 37 years in prison for plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport around the turn of the new millennium.

Ahmed Ressam was arrested in December 1999 as he drove off a ferry from Canada into Washington state with a trunk full of explosives. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour had twice ordered him to serve 22-year terms, but both times the sentences were reversed on appeal.

On Wednesday, Ressam's attorneys conceded that he should face at least three decades to satisfy the appeals courts, but no more than 34 years.

The Justice Department had sought life in prison because of the mass murder he intended to inflict at LAX, and because he recanted his cooperation with federal investigators.