‘Prophet of Doom’ who opened fire on New York subway train pleads guilty to terrorism charges

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A man who styled himself the “Prophet of Doom” and opened fire on a New York subway train, has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.

Frank James, 63, accused of wounding ten people last April when he opened fire on a packed Brooklyn subway train, had initially denied the charges when he appeared before the authorities in May.

But on Tuesday he admitted ten terrorism charges in an act that prosecutors said was “intended to inflict maximum damage at the height of rush hour”.

“Guilty,” said James when he was asked by the judge, William Kuntz, how he wished to plead.

The plea came nine months after he he put on a gas mask, set off a smoke device and fired a handgun at least 33 times on a crowded train traveling toward the 36th Street station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. He carried out the act dressed as a maintenance worker.

In addition to the ten people stuck by his gunfire, other people suffered from smoke inhalation. Almost 30 required hospital treatment.

The Associated Press said the terrorism charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The other charge, firing a firearm during a violent crime, has a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors are seeking to put him in prison for decades, but his lawyers have argued his conduct amounted to aggravated assault, not attempted murder.

They say he should not serve more than 18 years. As it stands, he does not gave a plea deal.

Previously, he vowed to fight the charges and refused to leave his jail cell to appear at an earlier court hearing.

“Mr. James has accepted responsibility for his crimes since he turned himself in to law enforcement,” James’ lawyers, Mia Eisner-Grynberg and Amanda David, said in a statement.

“A just sentence in this case will carefully balance the harm he caused with his age, his health, and the Bureau of Prisons’ notoriously inadequate medical care.”

Source: independent.co.uk