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Maryland man gets 25 years in military bomb plot

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A judge sentenced a Baltimore man to serve 25 years in a federal prison on Friday for a plot to bomb a U.S. military recruiting center in Maryland as revenge for American policy towards Muslims.

Antonio Martinez, who recently converted to Islam and is also known as Muhammad Hussain, pleaded guilty in January to charges of plotting to detonate a car bomb outside the recruiting center in Catonsville, Maryland, in what had been an FBI-run undercover operation.

In recorded conversations with a confidential source and an FBI undercover agent, Martinez voiced anger toward the United States, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly killed by the U.S. military and his desire to send a message that soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its "war" on Islam.

Several people he initially attempted to recruit to join in the operation all declined and one of them attempted to persuade him to drop the idea, the Justice Department has said.

The case is one of a series of undercover sting operations involving possible terrorism threats conducted by U.S. law enforcement authorities in recent months, which have drawn some criticism from Muslims groups concerned about being targeted.

The 25-year prison sentence handed down by Judge Frederick Motz had been agreed upon as part of the plea deal between federal prosecutors and Martinez.

(Reporting By Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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