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Colleen LaRose

Ellicott City man sentenced for terrorism offenses

Ellicott City man sentenced for terrorism offenses

Lawyers argued for almost two hours Thursday whether the skinny, hollow-cheeked young man from Ellicott City sitting in court was a dangerous al-Qaida plotter or a kid with undiagnosed psychological problems who was led astray by a cabal of bumbling terrorist wannabes.

The hard-fought sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Philadelphia was the final act in the case of Mohammad Hassan Khalid, 20, who was charged with terror offenses while still a teenager. Khalid's lawyers wanted him released immediately, while federal prosecutors sought to send him to prison for eight years.

In the end, U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker split the difference, handing the former...