A federal judge sentenced one Iraqi man accused of entering into a terrorist plot in Bowling Green to a life sentence in prison, with a second man given a 40 year sentence.
Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi appeared at the William H. Natcher federal courthouse in Bowling Green Tuesday to receive sentencing for a serious of charges related to a plot to send weapons, explosives, and money to Al-Qaida in Iraq.
The 30-year-old Alwan was given 40 years in prison for his role in the plot. He could have received a life sentence, but Judge Thomas B. Russell went along with the recommendation of prosecutors to give a lesser sentence since Alwan cooperated in the case.
Hammadi received a life sentence. The two were arrested in Warren County in 2009.
Both men had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, and conspiracy to send Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Iraq. Alwan and Hammadi also pleaded to making false statements when they applied for admission to the United States as refugees.
The terrorist plot was actually a government sting operation. This led the Iraqis' lawyers to claim they were victims of entrapment.
Join WKU Public Radio Wednesday during Morning Edition for recaps of the sentencing handed down Tuesday in Bowling Green's federal court.
Hoping to avoid a life sentence in prison, one of two Bowling Green Iraqi refugees set to be sentenced Tuesday for attempting to send weapons and cash to al-Qaeda in Iraq is alleging he was entrapped in a U.S. government scheme.
The Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting a lawyer for Mohanad Shareef Hammadi cites a study of more than 500 terrorism prosecutions since 9/11 that found an FBI informant led more than one-third of the plots and provided all the necessary weapons, money and transportation.
In a sentencing memorandum, Hammadi's court appointed lawyer James Earhart says his client was unemployed and had no money, weapons of means of transporting them when he was recruited by a confidential government informant.
Bowling Green police are investigating after an unidentified man robbed Service One Credit Union on the 31-W Bypass in the city Friday afternoon and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Police say the man waited in line behind at least one other customer. When he got to the teller window, he implied he had a gun, demanded money and walked out of the credit union with the cash just before 3 p.m.
He was last seen on foot running south on the bypass.
The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-40s, unshaven and wearing a gray pullover hooded sweatshirt, a blue knit cap and black sunglasses. Police say they do not have any suspects at this time.
This is the second bank robbery this month in Bowling Green. The First Security Bank on Chestnut Street was robbed January 3rd. No arrest has been made in that case.
Bowling Green police have arrested a man for the June robbery of American Bank & Trust on Fairview Avenue who also could be responsible for multiple bank robberies in south central Kentucky and northern Tennessee.
Forty-seven-year-old Steven Paul Harston was arrested Wednesday afternoon on Shive Lane without incident and lodged in the Warren County Regional Jail.
In a written release, Officer Ronnie Ward said BGPD along with the FBI conducted an extensive investigation into other area bank robberies and consider Harston a strong suspect. Their investigation is continuing but they expect other charges to be lodged soon.
Bowling Green police received a call of a robbery in progress inside the First Security Bank on Chestnut Street Thursday afternoon. Witnesses say a man entered the bank, showed a handgun tucked in his waistband and demanded money. After receiving an undisclosed amount, the man exited the bank on foot.
He's described as a white male about six feet tall and 180 pounds. At the time of the robbery he was dressed in a black shirt, blue jeans and a black mask and sunglasses that covered most of his face.
Detectives have no suspects and are asking anyone with any information to call them at 393-4000 or Crime Stoppers at 781-CLUE (2583).