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US offers plea deal to Tunisian man it once accused of plotting to build US-based terror cell

The government says it's offering a plea deal that may result in freedom for a Tunisian man who last year was accused of plotting to build a U.S.-based terrorism cell and radicalizing a Canadian man charged in a train derailment plot.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ferrara announced the offer Tuesday in federal court in New York at a pre-trial hearing for Ahmed Abassi. The plea would be to charges of making false statements and possessing an identification document with intent to defraud the United States.

Abassi has pleaded not guilty.

Federal sentencing guidelines would call for a sentence of up to six months if the government declines to ask for a terrorism enhancement at sentencing. If it did, the maximum would be six years in prison.

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