The Associated Press noted three of a group of 8 men were recently sentenced for conspiring to attack Marine Corps Base Quantico as well as other targets. Known in some places as the Raleigh jihadists, the men were arrested in July of 2009.
Hysen Sherifi, [the only non-US citizen] will serve 45 years in prison; Ziyad Yaghi…got nearly 32 years; and Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan…was sentenced to 15 years.
Lawyers for the men have claimed they were
discussing terrorism rather than committing terrorist acts…But US District Judge Louise Flanagan said the men went beyond talk to planning violence.
The father of one defendant accused the judge of attacking Islam:
“You’re prosecuting Islam. The judge should be sitting here with the government,” Aly Hassan said, pointing to the prosecutors.
Three others pled guilty already, one is yet to be tried, and a final defendant is believed to be in Pakistan.
The conspiracy was an omission from the ongoing list of those who have planned to attack, or actually have attacked, the US military in recent years while apparently motivated by their Islamic faith.
The list of attacks/attempted attacks on the US military by assailants apparently claiming some form of Islamic motivation includes four by US servicemembers:
- Fort Hood attack thwarted (PFC Abdo, 2011)
- Shots fired at Pentagon, other military bldgs (Marine Reservist Yonathan Melaku, 2010)
- Fort Hood massacre kills 14 (Army Maj Hasan, 2009)
- Fragging in Kuwait by Army Sgt Hasan Akbar (2003) (death sentence on appeal)
- Pipe bomb attack thwarted (Jose Pimentel, 2011)
- Remote control airplane Pentagon attack thwarted (Rezwan Ferdaus, 2011)
- Seattle recruiting station attack thwarted (2011)
- Frankfurt airport attack kills 2 US Airmen (Arid Uka, 2011)
- Baltimore recruiting center car bomb thwarted (Antonio Martinez, 2010)
- Quantico attack by Raleigh jihadists thwarted (6 multi-decade prison sentences, 2009)
- Arkansas recruiting station attack by Abdulhakim Muhammad (2009, life without parole)
- Fort Dix attack thwarted (2007) (6 convictions, 4 life sentences)