AMMAN: A Jordanian serving a 24-year sentence in the US prison after being convicted of an attempt to blow up a Dallas building has started an open-ended hunger strike demanding a retrial, according to his father Hosam Smadi is now on a hunger strike to demand a retrial and protest against his “unfair” treatment in prison his father, Maher Smadi said.
Hosam Smadi was sentenced in October 2010 by a US district court after pleading guilty to the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in September 2009.
“I talked to my son a few days ago,” Maher Smadi was quoted as saying in the local media.
“He told me that he started a hunger strike and will continue with it in rejection of the mistreatment he receives at the prison,” he said.
“I was not in touch with my son for about two years, but the Jordanian embassy in Washington helped arrange the call with him at the prison,” he said.
“My son told me he is being harassed by prison guards and that they swear at him repeatedly,” he added.
He added that Hosam was demanding a retrial, urging the Jordanian government to intervene.
“I checked with lawyers who told me it is possible that my son can be retried and may get a reduced sentence,” Maher Smadi said.
“This will cost around $300,000. I call on the government to intervene and help me arrange for this,” he added.
In May 2010, Hosam Smadi admitted to leaving what he believed to be a truck bomb in a garage beneath the Fountain Place skyscraper in Dallas on Sept.24, 2009.
Hosam Smadi said he parked the truck, activated a timer connected to the decoy provided by undercover Federal Bureau Of lnvestigation (FBI) agents posing as Al Qaeda operatives.
During his trial, which was attended by his father and sister, his lawyers argued that he was no militant and was “entrapped” in a sting operation.
Hosam Smadi’s younger brother was also arrested at that time, but later it turned out there was evidence against him as being part of the plot.
He was deported from the US on charges that he was living there in violation of the country’s immigrations laws.
Activists say the FBI is constantly looking for “vulnerable” Muslims, particularly of Arab origin, and entrap them into “sting” operations in order to improve the agency’s image as a law enforcement agency capable of ensuring the security of the US.