DALLAS -- Hosam "Sam" Smadi, 20, was sentenced to 24 years in prison Tuesday, after apologizing in federal court for plotting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper last year.
"Your honor, I'm ashamed of what I did," the Jordanian told U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn. "I'm very sorry for my actions. ... I could not have lived with myself if I had hurt anyone."
Smadi was arrested on Sept. 24, 2009, by federal agents who said he had parked what he thought was a car bomb in a garage under the 60-story Fountain Place skyscraper in downtown Dallas.
Once a safe distance away, Smadi dialed a cellphone that he thought would detonate the explosive device, federal officials said. The bomb -- which had been provided to him by undercover FBI agents posing as an al Qaeda sleeper cell -- was inert.
Addressing the court Tuesday, Smadi said he now hates al Qaeda and believes that its leader Osama bin Laden is a "bad man." He said he has no desire now to be a jihadist.
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