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US man sentenced to 30 years in plot to blow up pipelines Plotting to help what he believed was an al-Qaida operative

(AP) SCRANTON, Pennsylvania: A Pennsylvania man was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in federal prison for plotting to help what he believed was an al-Qaida operative blow up U.S. oil pipelines and refineries.

Michael C. Reynolds, 49, who claimed he had been trying to root out terrorists on the Internet, was convicted in July of providing material support to terrorists and other charges.

“Today’s sentencing constitutes a triumph of the rule of law over those who would use terror against this nation,” Acting U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson said in a statement.

Reynolds has been jailed since his December 2005 arrest and is awaiting transfer to a federal prison.

Reynolds was arrested after authorities said he tried to meet a purported al-Qaida contact about 25 miles from a motel in Pocatello, Idaho, where he had been staying. The contact was actually Shannen Rossmiller, a judge from Montana, who was working for the FBI.

Reynolds testified during his trial that he was working as a private citizen to uncover terrorist plots and that his Internet communications were meant to ensnare a person he thought was a terrorist.

Prosecutors said Reynolds wanted to work with al-Qaida to target a natural gas refinery in Wyoming; the Transcontinental Pipeline, a natural-gas pipeline that runs from the Gulf Coast in the southern United States through Pennsylvania to New York and New Jersey; and a Standard Oil refinery in New Jersey that no longer exists.

Reynolds thought his plan would help end the war in Iraq because troops would have to be recalled to help guard the nation’s energy infrastructure, prosecutors said. He also owed child support and may have been motivated by greed, they said.

At the meeting in Idaho, Reynolds expected to receive $40,000 (€27,500) to finance the plot.

Reynolds was convicted on two counts of providing material support to terrorists; soliciting a crime of violence; unlawful distribution of explosives; and unlawful possession of a hand grenade. He was acquitted of another count of unlawful possession of a hand grenade.

Rossmiller resigned her judgeship in September 2006 to join the Montana attorney general’s office.

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November 8, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Homeland security, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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