A Virginia man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for lying to authorities about his participation in a militant training camp in Pakistan.
Prosecutors successfully argued that Sabri Benkahla's lies obstructed a wide-ranging terrorism investigation at a sentencing hearing in Alexandria on Tuesday.
Under normal sentencing guidelines, Benkahla would have received at most a three-year term for his convictions on charges of lying to a grand jury, obstruction of justice and making a false statement.
But for the first time, prosecutors were able to obtain a stiffer sentence by arguing that Benkahla's lies, effectively promoted terrorism.
Defense lawyers argued that prosecutors were bitter because Benkahla previously had been acquitted on charges of giving aid to the Taliban and that they were setting a perjury trap by hauling him in front of the grand jury in 2004. They said investigators had no real hope of learning anything new from Benkahla.