Jordanian man to plead guilty to Texas bomb plot

May 25, 2010 8:04:48 PM PDT
A Jordanian man accused of trying to blow up a downtown Dallas skyscraper has agreed to enter a guilty plea in return for a prison sentence of no more than 30 years.

Hosam Smadi, 19, agreed to plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The charge is punishable by up to life in prison, but U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn wouldn't be allowed to sentence Smadi to more than 30 years if she accepts the deal. She scheduled a new arraignment for Smadi on Wednesday.

The agreement was signed by Smadi on Thursday but filed in federal court in Dallas on Tuesday.

Defense attorneys and the FBI declined comment, and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office did not return a message Tuesday night.

Smadi has admitted leaving what he thought was a truck bomb in a garage beneath the 60-story Fountain Place building in downtown Dallas in September. The device was a decoy provided by FBI agents posing as al-Qaida operatives.

Smadi acknowledged in a written statement that he parked the truck in the garage beneath the skyscraper, activated a timer connected to the decoy, then rode with an undercover agent and waited to watch the explosion.

Smadi also admitted using a cell phone to detonate what he thought was the bomb, according to his signed statement. Instead, the phone rang an FBI number and Smadi was arrested.

"Smadi believed this was an active weapon of mass destruction," according to the statement. "Smadi believed the bomb would explode and cause extensive damage."

The FBI said it had been monitoring Smadi after discovering him on an extremist website last year. Investigators said he acted alone and was not affiliated with any terrorist organizations.

In court papers, Smadi's federal public defenders have argued that their client exhibited signs of depression and mental illness when his parents separated and that he "completely fell apart" when his mother died of brain cancer.


Load Comments