Rockford man gets 35 years in plot to attack mall
Associated Press | September 30, 2008
CHICAGO - A 24-year-old Rockford man who admired Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for plotting to blow off hand grenades in a crowded shopping mall during the Christmas season.
Derrick Shareef must serve 30 of those years -- with five off for good behavior -- unless he can get an appeals court to reduce the sentence.
Federal Judge David Coar said Tuesday 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 believed bin Laden was a scholar but has now realized violence is wrong.