World

Islam convert jailed 35 years for plotting U.S. mall attack

A 24-year-old convert to Islam was sentenced to 35 years in prison Tuesday for plotting to detonate hand grenades in a crowded Illinois shopping mall during the Christmas season.

A 24-year-old convert to Islam was sentenced to 35 years in prison Tuesday for plotting to detonate hand grenades in a crowded Illinois shopping mall during the Christmas season.

Derrick Shareef must serve 30 of those years, with the chance of getting five off for good behaviour.

He was arrested in 2006 on charges of scheming to use weapons of mass destruction at the Cherryvale Mall in the northern Illinois city of Rockford.

He pleaded guilty last November.

Shareef planned to put grenades in garbage cans at the mall. He was nabbed by an undercover agent who Shareef thought was going to supply him with the explosives.

Federal Judge David Coar said he didn't believe Shareef was evil. But he said people could have been severely hurt if federal agents hadn't broken up the plot.

Shareef described himself as a devout Muslim who once admired Osama bin Laden but has now realized violence is wrong.

With files from the Associated Press