A judge sentenced a reputed terrorist to 30 years in prison for transporting explosives, saying the defendant was out "for flesh and blood" with planned bombings in retaliation for the U.S. bombing of Libya.
"You are a member of the Japanese Red Army," U.S. District Judge Alfred J. Lechner Jr. told Yu Kikumura on Tuesday. "You have engaged in a course of terrorism. You planned to kill and injure scores of people."There is no other conclusion that can be drawn but that you are an international terrorist."
In his first statements in court since his arrest, the Japanese national said prior to sentencing that his November conviction on charges of transporting explosives and possessing firearms was trumped up by the U.S. government to justify the bombing of Libya, which he called a violation of international law.
"I denounce these immoral acts of state terrorism," the 36-year-old Kikumura said in heavily accented English. "I do not have the background claimed by the United States."
Throughout much of the six-hour sentencing hearing, Kikumura smiled and chuckled through his black mustache and chest-length beard.
Lechner sentenced Kikumura to 30 years, unswayed by Kikumura's claims of being a scapegoat and by defense lawyers' arguments that the bombs found in his car at a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop may have been intended only to damage property in New York City and not injure people.
"There is only one conclusion to draw from the design and construction of the bombs," Lechner said. "They were intended and designed for flesh and blood, not for bricks and mortar."