A Canadian citizen and Iraqi national was sentenced to 26 years in prison for conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. He played a role in the death of five American servicemen.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Tuesday night that Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., to 26 years of imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervised release after pleading guilty.
‘Isa was part of a multinational terrorist network that conducted multiple suicide bombings in Iraq, according to court documents. The terrorists attacked a U.S. base in Mosul in April 2009 with a truck filled with explosives.
The truck detonated alongside a U.S. convoy and five American soldiers were killed in the blast: Staff Sgt. Gary L. Woods, 24, of Lebanon Junction, Ky., Sgt. 1st Class Bryan E. Hall, 32, of Elk Grove, Calif., Sgt. Edward W. Forrest Jr., 25, of St. Louis, Mo., Cpl. Jason G. Pautsch, 20, of Davenport, Iowa, and Army Pfc. Bryce E. Gaultier, 22, from Cyprus, Calif.
"Muhammad ‘Isa's efforts to facilitate a suicide attack, one that ultimately resulted in the death of five young American soldiers in Iraq, has landed him a sentence of more than two decades behind bars," said William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director-in-charge of the FBI's New York Field Office.
"While this sentence is significant, it doesn't come close to mitigating the pain and suffering these soldiers' families will face for the rest of their lives," Sweeney said. "As this case comes to a close, let us remember the names of those who were murdered that day, and vow to never forget the daily sacrifices made by the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces and their families."
Family members present in the courtroom believed the sentence was not enough for ‘Isa and believed he should have received life behind bars, according to an AP report.
"These five families will never be whole again," said Becky Johnson, the mother of Staff Sgt. Woods.
Johnson told the AP she was "appalled" by the plea offer in the case and said it seemed to her that "someone felt my son wasn't worth fighting for."