NEW YORK – A Washington cab driver who admitted he attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan in 2002 was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison after he was portrayed as eager to serve a terrorist group even if it meant attacking the United States.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said the sentence she imposed on Mahmud Faruq Brent Al Mutazzim, of Gwynn Oak, Md., "is on the low side" of sentences given to terrorism defendants across the country but was the maximum available under the charge to which he pleaded guilty.
His lawyer, Hassen Ibn Abdellah, had asked Preska to sentence the Akron, Ohio-born Brent to less than 15 years. The judge noted that without the limit, federal sentencing guidelines would actually call for Brent to receive a sentence of more than 30 years in prison.
Brent, who waved and smiled to family and friends in court, declined to speak before he was sentenced. Abdellah called him a hard working family man who might have been "naive, young, impressionable" when he went to the terror training camp.
He previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to help a terrorist organization, the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba.