US & Canada

US Capitol plotter Christopher Lee Cornell sentenced

Christopher Lee Cornell Image copyright AP
Image caption Christopher Lee Cornell begged for "a second chance"

An Ohio man cried "Allah is in control, not this judge!" as he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to assassinate President Barack Obama.

Christopher Lee Cornell, 22, pleaded guilty in August to three charges, including attempted murder of US officials and employees.

The federal judge had voiced scepticism at Cornell's claims of remorse shortly before Monday's courtroom outburst.

The FBI arrested Cornell, from near Cincinnati, Ohio, in January 2015.

He had planned to carry out an attack to show his support for the Islamic State group during President Obama's State of the Union address that month at the US Capitol, according to court documents.

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Media captionChristopher Cornell's father: "He's a good kid, he's been kind of lost"

As he was led out of court in shackles on Monday, Cornell also shouted that the legal system was "rigged".

In March this year he wrote to his family claiming to have renounced his extremism.

He said in the letter: "I hope they can soon see the change in me, understand me, give me the help I need and allow me to get a second chance.

"I'm not a terrorist, a criminal or a bad person, I'm just a kid who suffered from problems, that made some bad decisions and stupid mistakes."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Cornell urged retribution against a paid FBI informant

But prosecutors said Cornell had continued to promote violence from jail, calling for others to "fight against the disbelieving people of America".

He was also able to bypass a security program on a jail computer and post an online plea for retribution against a paid FBI informant who had alerted authorities about his plot, authorities said.

Cornell was detained by the FBI in the car park of a gun shop, after buying two M-15 semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition.

His lawyers had argued for a shorter sentence, saying he had rejected "radical Islamic propaganda".

They also argued his plot - to walk through the front door of Congress in Washington DC and shoot Mr Obama while he spoke - was infeasible.