Christopher Lee Cornell, 22, the Ohio man accused of planning to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill President Barack Obama during the 2015 State of the Union address was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Monday for his unfulfilled terror plot.
The FBI arrested Cornell near Cincinnati, Ohio in January 2015, and in August he pleaded guilty to the charges which include attempted murder of government officials and trying to provide support to a terrorist organization.
Immediately after receiving his sentence at the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, Cornell yelled the courts are a “rigged a– system” and that “Allah’s in control, not the judge.”
This statement stands in sharp contrast to a March 31, 2016 letter to his family that said the following:
“I hope they can soon see the change in me, understand me, give me the help I need and allow me to get a second chance. I’m not a terrorist, a criminal or a bad person, I’m just a kid who suffered from problems that made some bad decisions and stupid mistakes.”
During the trial his lawyers argued for a shorter sentence, saying he had rejected “radical Islamic propaganda” and that he was easily influenced by what he saw online.
Cornell’s attorneys described him as a lonely, depressed youth who became self-radicalized, living “a fantasy life behind a computer screen.” They also claimed his plot was infeasible, even though he was arrested with two M-15 semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition he had just purchased from a Cincinnati gun shop.
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Obama Administration Sets Terrorist Free