SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge sentenced a 23-year-old Northern California man to more than 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to trying to support an Islamic terrorist group.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Tuesday rejected Amer Alhaggagi's plea for a much shorter sentence. After Alhaggagi pleaded guilty in July, his attorneys tried to portray the Berkeley High School graduate as an out-of-work, pot-smoking Internet "troll" seeking only to provoke and annoy with violent, anti-American claims.
Alhaggagi plotted for two years with undercover agents to blow up courthouses, landmarks and tourists attractions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His attorneys argued that Alhaggagi was a "blowhard" who never came close to following through with the boasts.
But the judge disagreed, saying "words matter" and that Alhaggagi lacked empathy.