An Algerian convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the millennium later provided information about more than 100 potential terrorists, his lawyers said.
Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian national who lived in Montreal, was caught driving into Washington state after crossing on a ferry from Victoria with bomb-making materials in the trunk of his rented car in December 1999.
He was convicted in 2001 of nine charges, including terrorist conspiracy.
Facing up to 130 years in prison, he cut a deal with the U.S. Justice Department and began co-operating with authorities in exchange for a promised 27-year sentence.
“Among the individuals he discussed were people whose names meant nothing to us when first heard but were later identified as significant players in al-Qaida and other terrorist networks,” Ressam’s lawyers wrote in court documents in advance of his sentencing this month.
From May 2001 to April 2003, Ressam spent more than 200 hours speaking with authorities about terrorist networks and people with potential connections to them. He also spent 65 hours testifying during depositions or trials, his lawyers wrote.
Among the topics Ressam is reported to have covered were training camps in Afghanistan, terrorist recruitment, training, cell locations, the use of safe houses and general targets.
Much of the information Ressam provided remains secret. The documents filed publicly in federal court in Seattle this week offer merely an outline of his co-operation; a more detailed summary was filed under seal.