DALLAS (CN) – A 20-year-old Jordanian man was sentenced Tuesday to 24 years in federal prison for trying to use a truck bomb to destroy a 60-story downtown skyscraper. Facing a life sentence, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi pleaded guilty in May to one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
“The court’s sentence of Mr. Smadi sends a clear message that there is a serious price to be paid by those who may be willing to carry out acts of violence in this country to further the terrorist cause,” said Assistant Attorney General David Kris.
Prosecutors said Smadi parked what he believed was a car bomb in the garage under the Fountain Place office building on Sept. 24, 2009. The explosive was actually inert – it was provided by undercover FBI agents posing as members of a terrorist sleeper cell.
“Smadi activated a timer connected to the device, locked the truck and walked away,” federal prosecutors said in a statement. “Smadi walked out of the parking garage, crossed the street and got into a car with an undercover law enforcement agent. They drove a safe distance away and prepared to watch the explosion. Smadi, who believed the bomb would explode and cause extensive damage, used a cell phone to remotely activate the device.”
Prosecutors in the case included Assistant U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson, Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerri Sims and Assistant U.S. Attorney Wes Hendrix.