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Mosed Receives Eight Year Sentence

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The sentencing phase in the case of the Lackawanna Six is now half over. Shafal Mosed, the third man from the group, was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday in Buffalo's federal court.

It was the same amount of time given to another Lackawanna man, Yasein Taher, last week. Both were spared a fine and will be supervised when they leave prison. The first man sentenced, Mukhtar al Bakri received ten years.

Judge William Skretny has moved through each of the proceedings in almost identical fashion. He lays out the sentencing guidelines, and gives the convicted men and the attorneys a chance to speak. He then gives his decision and the reasons for it. Skretny cites the valuable information they've given as the main reason for the reduced sentences. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hochul wouldn't elaborate on how valuable or how unique that information has been.

"Well, I don't want to get into that," said Hochul. "What we say in our papers is that each defendant, individually, provided information in a variety of different ways."

Deatils are only contained in a sealed report. But the judge may have stumbled into one of those details. During his statements, Skretny referenced money that Mosed helped raise after returning from the camp that helped send a recruiter back to Afghanistan. Mosed's attorney, Patrick Brown, says his client acted unknowingly.

"The pretense was to send someone back to their home country, I think it was Behran," said Brown. "Then, subsequently the government learned that this individual had actually gone to Afghanistan. But he [Mosed] didn't know that at the time he provided the money."

Still, Brown describes his client as an intelligent, street smart guy who should have known better. Mosed accepted responsibility and apologized to the court, saying he was proud to be an American. But even Brown acknowledged that may not help when Mosed is finally released from prison.

"I think you go to apply for a job, and you're going to be asked if you have criminal record. When you check the box yes, I think the next line is explain - I think you're going to have a lot of explaining to do to a prospective employer," said Brown.

A fourth man, Yahya Goba, was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.