Jordanian terrorist to be sentenced in LA for illegally obtaining US citizenship
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles valet parking attendant who spent time in an Israeli prison for attempting to blow up a bus is expected to be sentenced Friday for illegally obtaining American citizenship in 2008 by deliberately withholding his criminal record and past terrorist associations.
Vallmoe Shqaire, 51, has remained in the United States for nearly a decade after federal officials uncovered his criminal history, according to papers filed in Los Angeles federal court.
The Palestinian-born Jordanian was trained by the Palestinian Liberation Organization in bomb-making and the use of rifles and grenades, according to the government’s sentencing documents.
In 1988, Shqaire and an accomplice tried to bomb the bus under the direction of the PLO, but no one was injured, prosecutors wrote. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1991 but was released after four years into Israeli custody, documents show.
Prosecutors indicate that Shqaire entered the United States on a visitors visa in 1999 and managed to have his citizenship application approved in November 2008.
He pleaded guilty in January to illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship. Prosecutors are recommending that U.S. District Judge John Walter sentence him to 16 months behind bars.
“By concealing his violent, terrorist conduct, defendant circumvented the procedures our immigration system depends upon,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.