A summary of major events since Ahmed Ressam was arrested in Port Angeles in 1999.
A summary of major events since Algerian national Ahmed Ressam was arrested in Port Angeles in 1999 after bomb-making materials were found in his car.
Dec. 14, 1999: Ressam, who had been living in Montreal for several years, is arrested at the U.S. border station in Port Angeles after arriving aboard a ferry from Victoria, B.C. Customs inspectors find bomb-making materials and four timing devices in the car’s wheel well.
Late December, 1999: Seattle Mayor Paul Schell cancels the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at Seattle Center after Ressam’s arrest, amid reports that an Algerian fundamentalist group, or a terrorist group linked to Saudi militant Osama bin Laden, might be targeting holiday celebrations.
March 3, 2000: U.S. District Judge John Coughenour moves Ressam’s trial from Seattle to Los Angeles because of widespread publicity about the case in Western Washington.
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March 3, 2001: Ressam’s trial begins.
April 6, 2001: After 10 hours of deliberations, a federal jury convicts Ressam on nine terrorism and bomb-related charges.
Late May, 2001: Reports surface that Ressam is cooperating with federal prosecutors in hopes of winning a reduced sentence. Ressam later testifies in New York at the terrorism trial of Algerian Mokhtar Haouari.
July 25, 2005: According to a filing by his attorneys, Ressam will offer no further assistance to the U.S. in prosecuting other terrorism cases.
July 27, 2005: Coughenour sentences Ressam to 22 years in prison and uses the occasion to unleash a broadside against secret tribunals and other war-on-terrorism tactics that abandon “the ideals that set our nation apart.”
Aug. 15, 2008: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws out Ressam’s 22-year prison sentence, challenging a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Ressam should serve time for carrying explosives. Because the explosives charge accounted for 10 years of the sentence, the appeals court ordered that Ressam’s sentence be vacated and recalculated.
Dec. 3, 2008: Coughenour reimposes Ressam’s 22-year sentence. With credit for time served, Ressam will be eligible for parole in 2018, at the age of 51.
Feb. 2, 2010: The 9th Circuit Court rules that Ressam’s 22-year sentence is too lenient because he had reneged on a deal to cooperate with terrorism investigators.
Aug. 2, 2011: The 9th Circuit Court, responding to an appeal from Ressam’s attorneys, agrees to reconsider whether the sentence was adequate.
March 12, 2012: The 9th Circuit Court again overturns Ressam’s 22-year sentence, calling it unreasonably lenient, and orders him to be resentenced.
Oct. 24: Ressam is sentenced to 37 years in prison..
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