LOS ANGELES – An Algerian man was convicted Friday of terrorism for bringing a car loaded with explosives from Canada to the United States in what authorities said was a global plan to bomb buildings at the time of millennium celebrations.
Ahmed Ressam, 33, stood stoically with his eyes downcast as a clerk read the federal court jury's verdict — guilty of nine criminal charges including an act of terrorism transcending a national boundary.
He also was found guilty of placing an explosive in proximity to a ferry terminal, using false identification documents, smuggling, transporting explosives and carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony.
In addition to the nine charges, the jurors found that his actions were committed in connection with a crime of violence.
The eight women and four men of the jury deliberated for just over 10 hours in two days of talks. At one point they asked for a list of all the evidence in the case so that they could easily find items they were interested in.
When U.S. District Judge John Coughenour polled them to ask if this was their individual decision, each one answered, "Yes."
The judge said he had relayed a request to the jury to speak to the press but they unanimously declined and were being taken out a back entrance of the courthouse.
"You are one of the nicest and most attentive juries I've had in 20 years," the judge told them. "It makes me proud to be an American."
The judge scheduled sentencing for June 28 in Seattle. Ressam could be sentenced to up to 130 years in prison.
Ressam sat quietly with his lawyers after the verdicts were read and appeared upset.
Defense attorney Michael Filipovic said, "We're obviously disappointed with the results. There will be an appeal."
He said of Ressam, "He's obviously upset with the result."
It was Ressam's second conviction of the day. Earlier, in Paris, a French court convicted and sentenced him for belonging to support network for Islamic militants. The panel's decision was to be read after lawyers arrived at the courthouse.
Ressam was arrested on Dec. 14, 1999, by U.S. Customs inspectors at Port Angeles, Wash.