News and Press Releases

Hussein Abdi Hassan Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on August 23, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, HUSSEIN ABDI HASSAN, a 24-year-old resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, appeared for sentencing. HASSAN was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 15 months

Special Assessment: $100

Restitution: $310,089.07

Supervised Release: 3 years

HASSAN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to false information/hoaxes.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan R. Whittaker, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On February 14, 2011, HASSAN was traveling westbound on the Amtrak passenger train. HASSAN had become intoxicated and was being extremely disruptive on the train. The conductor alerted local law enforcement that he wanted HASSAN removed from the train. A Glacier County Sheriff's Office deputy responded to the call and met the train in Browning. The deputy approached HASSAN and told him he was being removed. HASSAN became agitated, was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct, and then escorted to the deputy's patrol car.

While en route to the police station, HASSAN asked the deputy, "Why are you doing this to me, I did nothing wrong, I'm not drunk you white men are all in this shit are you not?" The deputy said he did not know what HASSAN was talking about. HASSAN stated, "[t]his is not right, I paid for a f _ _ _ ing train ride, and where is my bag?" The deputy responded to HASSAN that he did not get off the train with a bag. HASSAN then began to laugh, and said, "Damn fools, all of you."

HASSAN again asked, "You did not find my bag?" The deputy stated, no you did not have a bag on you. HASSAN responded, "No one will survive on that train." The deputy asked him why, what's up with your bag? HASSAN said, "It has something very dangerous in it." The deputy asked whether it was a bomb or something. HASSAN responded, "Yes, do you even know who is on that train?" The deputy said, no who is. HASSAN replied, "Very dangerous people, very dangerous. My bag was not locked and it can be anywhere, because I do not know where it is at now." The deputy asked HASSAN whether he was lying, to which he responded, "I am Muslim, I cannot lie." HASSAN then stated to the deputy, "We can sell our story to CNN for a large amount I'll be famous for awhile."

Based upon the threat, the Amtrak train was stopped in a field between Browning and East Glacier. The Glacier County Sheriff's Office arranged for approximately 140 passengers to be transported by bus to the Browning Middle School. In order to get to the buses, passengers had to walk approximately 75 feet across a frozen pond in extremely snowy and windy conditions.

An explosives team from Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls responded to the scene where they searched the train and passenger luggage, including HASSAN's bags, for explosives. No explosives or explosive devices were found. As such, HASSAN's statements about having a bomb in his bag were determined to be a hoax. HASSAN knew he did not have a bomb in his bag and knew that the information he conveyed about the bomb was false.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that HASSAN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HASSAN does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Glacier County Sheriff's Office, the Blackfeet Tribal Police, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the Malmstrom EOD Team.



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