Last year, Ahmed Abassi was charged with making false statements in an application for a green card and work visa, all so he could remain in the United States to carry out an act of terror.
And what exactly was he thinking? Just using bacteria to kill up to 100,000 people. He also planned to recruit individuals to engage in terrorist activities and provide support and funding to terrorist organizations, including al Nusrah Front. Oh, and let’s not forget about the fact that he radicalized one of the Canadians who allegedly plotted a terrorist attack on a passenger train near Toronto.
At the time, the FBI said in a statement that each of the two counts he was charged with carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. But today it’s being reported that the court is essentially turning a blind eye to his propensity for terrorism.
Ahmed Abassi, 27, avoided terrorism charges by pleading guilty in Manhattan federal court to lying on his visa application and to immigration officials when asked why he flew to the United States in 2013.
“I stated on my visa application that my intention was to enter the United States to engage in business” as a real estate agent, Abassi told Judge Miriam Cedarbaum. “I lied because my entire purpose was to return to Canada.”
Abassi, who previously lived in Canada, “radicalized” one of the alleged train plotters, Chiheb Esseghaier, and met with him in New York City after traveling here in mid-March of 2013, prosecutors said last year in court filings. An undercover agent recorded both men discussing a plot to release bacteria in the air or water to kill up to 100,000 people, the feds said.
Abassi faces up six years in prison at sentencing on July 23 but could be released from jail and immediately deported if Cedarbaum agrees to a defense request for time served. His lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, claimed the undercover agent entrapped her client.
Abassi had faced up to 50 years in prison on terror charges.
“Ahmed Abassi had an evil purpose for seeking to remain in the United States—to commit acts of terror and develop a network of terrorists here, and to use this country as a base to support the efforts of terrorists internationally,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement last year.