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Judge Gives Man 24 Years For Role in US Terrorist Plot in 1999 - 2002-01-16

A federal judge in New York City has sentenced an Algerian man to 24 years in jail for his role in a foiled terrorist plot in Los Angeles during millennium celebrations two years ago.

Moktar Haouari was convicted in a Manhattan court last July. He was found guilty of a conspiracy to detonate a suitcase bomb at the Los Angeles airport in the final days of 1999.

Haouari was charged with supplying money and fake identification papers to two other men. One of those men was Ahmed Ressam, the alleged mastermind of the plot, who was caught crossing the U.S. border from Canada with a carful of explosives.

Ressam is said to have been trained in one of the terrorist camps supported by Osama Bin Laden. He now awaits his own sentencing.

The judge chose to give Haouari the maximum sentence, saying his conduct posed a great risk to the well-being of the American people.

At the time of his conviction, prosecutors argued the attack could have been the bloodiest act of terrorism in the United States since the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.