A Canadian man was sentenced on Tuesday to 26 years in prison for his role in a 2009 suicide bombing in Iraq in which five U.S. soldiers were killed.
Prosecutors said wiretap evidence linked Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa to a terror network that used a suicide bomber to detonate a truck filled with explosives outside the U.S. base in Mosul.
The blast left a 60-foot crater in the ground.
‘Isa admitted corresponding by email with two of the jihadists while they were in Syria and “facilitators” who were trying to get the attackers into Iraq, according to court papers.
Authorities said he also wired $700 to one of them and provided “words of encouragement and religious guidance” to his co-conspirators.
‘Isa, 51, a Canadian citizen and Iraqi national, was arrested in 2011 on a U.S. warrant after an investigation by authorities in New York, Canada and Tunisia.
“There’s no excuse for even trying to kill American soldiers,” said U.S. District Judge Roslynn Mauskopf.
She said ‘Isa’s actions warranted a significant prison term, but one less severe than the life sentence called for under federal sentencing guidelines.
That did not sit well with several family members of the soldiers, who appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court expecting ‘Isa to be handed a life sentence.
“I want you to know that I forgive you for your actions to me,” said Becky Johnson, whose son Gary Lee Woods died in the attack. “I will never forgive you for what your actions have done to my son. I can only pray you will never see your family again just like I will never see my son.”
“Bryce’s death left a hole that nobody could possibly understand,” said Melanie Ward, whose son Bryce Gautier was 22 when he was killed in Iraq. “My son was a wonderful person. He was so kind and so giving. He was a perfect medic.”
Jason Pautsch, Bryan Hall and Edward Forrest were also killed in the attack.
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