A Kansas City man who sympathized with Al-Qaida enough to send financial support has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.
Stockily built in an orange jail uniform, Khalid Ouazzani grew weak-kneed standing before Judge Howard Sachs and was briefly supported by a deputy U.S. Marshall.
Ouazzani had sent the U.S. District Judge an eight page typed letter of apology, professing self-disgust, saying he is not anti-American.
Judge Sachs said some of the letter was self-delusional and ordered him to prison for half the amount dictated by strictest sentencing guidelines, but nearly the amount recommended by prosecutors.
Judge Sachs alluded to the Boston Marathon bombings as he said the threat of terrorism is more evident today than five years ago and he was taking the phenomenon into account.
Quazzani’s wife wept quietly on a court bench as the 14 year sentence was given.
Ouzzani was credited with informing on two other Al-Qaida operatives after his arrest in 2010.
One has been sentenced in New York, the other awaits final sentencing.
Quzzani’s cooperation resulted in worldwide publicity. His lawyer, Robin Fowler, described his client as a marked-man for being a "snitch” and has spent 28 months in protective solitary confinement in pre-trial jail.
U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson took this view, “Mr. Ouzzani created his own bed. Now unfortunately, for him, he’s getting to lie in it.”
Ouzzani pleaded guilty to defrauding banks and a businessman in Kansas City, including mortgage fraud, using the funds for himself and to give payments totaling $23 thousand to Al-Qaida.