Dallas: A 20-year-old Jordanian man caught in
an FBI sting trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper faces a
sentencing hearing today just blocks away from the building he
tried to take down.
Hosam Smadi faces up to life in prison after pleading
guilty in May to attempted use of a weapon of mass
destruction. Under his plea agreement, however, it is likely
he will receive a 30-year sentence and then face deportation.
According to the pleading documents, Smadi acknowledged
leaving what he thought was a truck bomb in a garage beneath
the 60-story Fountain Place building in September 2009. Smadi
said he parked the truck, started a timer connected to the
decoy provided by undercover FBI agents, then rode away to
watch the explosion.
Smadi dialled a cell phone number from the roof of a
nearby parking garage, where he had planned to watch the
explosion. The number was supposed to set off his truck bomb.
It instead alerted tactical agents hiding in a stairwell, who
swarmed the rooftop and arrested him.
Posing as members of an al Qaeda sleeper cell, three
undercover FBI employees had monitored Smadi since January
2009. After he shared his plans to blow up the office tower,
they helped him secure a truck and fake bomb used to carry out
the mission, according to court documents.
Since the arrest, Smadi`s public defenders have portrayed
their client as a troubled and depressed young man, who
exhibited signs of depression and mental illness when his
parents separated and then suffered a breakdown after his
mother`s death from brain cancer. At the plea hearing in May,
attorney Peter Fleury said Smadi had been diagnosed with
schizophrenia by a prison doctor and a physician working for