Dallas Terrorist Transferred to Medium-Security Prison

Man who plotted to blow up skyscraper moved to Indiana

By Scott Gordon
|  Tuesday, Feb 8, 2011  |  Updated 11:38 AM CDT
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Gallery: FBI Photo Evidence Against Smadi

AP

Fountain Place, center, a 60-story glass office tower is shown in Dallas, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009. Federal prosecutors say they've arrested a 19-year-old Jordanian national and charged him with trying to bomb the downtown Dallas skyscraper. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

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Hosam Smadi, the Jordanian man convicted of trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper, has been quietly transferred to a medium-security prison in Indiana, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

Smadi, 20, was sentenced in May to 24 years in prison after he was caught in an FBI sting operation plotting to blow up Fountain Place, a 60-story office tower in downtown Dallas. He admitted driving an SUV into an underground parking garage and dialing a cell phone he thought would detonate a bomb. The explosives, supplied by undercover agents, were fake.

He had been held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville since his arrest in September 2009. The prison in Seagoville is a low-security facility that includes a detention center and prison camp.

A Federal Bureau of Prisons website showed he is now held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana.

It is “a medium-security facility housing male inmates with an adjacent satellite prison camp that houses minimum-security male offenders,” according to the website. It did not indicate when Smadi was transferred.

His release date was listed as August 21, 2030.

The FBI set up an elaborate sting operation after discovering Smadi promoting violence in an online group of extremists. Undercover agents posed as members of an al-Qaeda sleeper cell, and Smadi recorded an online video message that he believed Osama bin Laden would see.

His attorneys portrayed Smadi as mentally ill and a victim of overzealous federal agents who encouraged him to commit the crime.

Before he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn in Dallas, Smadi apologized and renounced terrorism.

“I am so ashamed for what I did,” he said. “I am guilty of this horrible crime that targeted innocent people – women and children… Osama bin Laden is a bad man. I hate al-Qaida.”

Jeff Butler, an executive assistant at the Seagoville prison, has not returned repeated phone calls from NBC DFW in recent weeks seeking information on Smadi’s status.

Federal prosecutors did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday, and neither did Smadi’s attorney, Peter Fleury.

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