( Reuters ) - U.S. authorities recommended a life sentence for a Canadian al Qaeda member who pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb American embassies in Singapore and the Philippines, records of the secret case show.
Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, a Canadian citizen of Iraqi descent, pleaded guilty in July 2002 to participating in the disrupted bomb plots on orders from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to case records unsealed on Thursday.
Jabarah had initially agreed to cooperate in the investigation, but changed his mind months later after a childhood friend was killed trying to attack U.S. Marines in Kuwait. He vowed revenge, and planned while in jail to kill FBI agents and prosecutors assigned to his case, the records show.
"Jabarah's offense conduct and post-plea jihadist scheming justify a life sentence," prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo. They said he hid steak knives and bomb instructions in his cell and quoted him as writing "If they release me ... then I will kill them until I am killed."
Jabarah is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
He later apologized for some of his actions and said he was only working through anger over his friend's death and meant no harm. But prosecutors said he still refused to meet with government agents in violation of his cooperation agreement.
He argued he should receive a lesser sentence, saying in part that his confinement in a high-security wing aggravated an unspecified health problem and that he was improperly deprived of a lawyer before he was deported to the United States from Canada.
Prosecutors said he provided no substantiating evidence.
Jabarah was arrested in Oman in early 2002, then deported to Canada and detained there before he was taken to the United States.
According to the sentencing memo, Jabarah swore loyalty in person to bin Laden in May 2001 and was dispatched by the al Qaeda leader to perform an act of terrorism.
It said he served as a liaison between al Qaeda and the Jemaah Islamiah militant network, which is believed to be seeking to create an Islamic state in Southeast Asia and blamed for a string of attacks that killed hundreds of civilians.
The memo said Jabarah plotted with accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others on a plan to attack U.S. and Israeli embassies in the Philippines. They shifted the target to the U.S. embassy in Singapore and acquired surveillance videos and tons of explosives.
After the plot was exposed by Singapore authorities, the memo said, Jabarah went to Oman to help al Qaeda members who were fleeing the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. He was arrested in Oman.