A federal appeals court has upheld the life sentence of an Iraqi man who was arrested in Bowling Green and pleaded guilty to conspiring to send cash and weapons to al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010 and 2011.
The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decided there wasn't any government misconduct in the case of 26-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi. Judge Karen Nelson Moore concluded that the government presented Hammadi with an opportunity to commit a crime and he took it.
A co-defendant, 32-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan, received a 40-year sentence.
Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty to conspiring to ship machine guns and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq. Prosecutors said the two were working with an informant.
Both were arrested in May 2011 in Bowling Green. Hammadi is in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.
A federal appeals court is scheduled in November to hear the case of an Iraqi man sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges.
The attorney for Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, will get to argue why he thinks his client's prison sentence should be reduced. Prosecutors oppose any reduction.
A co-defendant, Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, received a 40-year sentence in January.
Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty in 2011 and 2012 to conspiring to ship thousands in cash, machine guns, rifles, grenades and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Prosecutors said the two were working with a confidential informant.
Both were arrested in May 2011 in Bowling Green in a federal sting operation.
Hammadi is being held in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.
An Iraqi man sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges in Bowling Green has been assigned to a high-security facility in Indiana.
The federal Bureau of Prisons lists 32 year old Waad Ramadan Alwan as an inmate at United States Penitentiary-Terre Haute. The high security facility is about 70 miles west of Indianapolis. A co-defendant, 25 year old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, is serving life in prison at the United States Penitentiary-Big Sandy in Inez, KY.
An Iraqi man who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges has filed a notice of appeal of his sentence of life in prison without parole.
Mohanad Shareef Hammadi intends to ask the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the sentence handed down in January after he pleaded guilty to working to ship thousands in cash, machine guns, rifles, grenades and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2011. U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell sentenced the 25 year old Hammadi in January in Bowling Green.
A co-defendant in the case received a 40 year sentence, he has not filed a notice of appeal.
Prosecutors say the two men were caught in an FBI sting with an informant posing as a contact with terrorists in Iraq.
Audio of Lisa Autry's report on Tuesday's sentencing of Alwan and Hammadi
Two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green who admitted sending weapons and money to Al-Qaeda in Iraq were sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green. Both Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanned Shareef Hamaddi admitted taking part in insurgent activities in Iraq prior to arriving in the U.S. in 2009. Federal authorities found Alwan's fingerprint on an unexploded bomb in Iraq and launched an investigation.
The Iraqi men were arrested in 2011 after they agreed to help a government informant load cash and weapons into a tractor-trailer they were told was destined for Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Over the course of five hours, each man separately received his punishment. First to enter the courtroom was the 31-year-old Alwan. Wearing prison orange, he sat next to his interpreter, and appeared unmoved by the piercing stares from the courtroom audience. Justice Department Attorney Larry Schneider said Alwan was interested in becoming the leader of a terrorist cell in the U.S. and that he recruited Hammadi, describing him as "worth his weight in gold," and as an "experienced" insurgent.
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.