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RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — A Raleigh man was sentenced Friday to multiple life prison terms for a plot to behead witnesses whose testimony convicted him for his role in planning terror attacks against a U.S. Marine Corps base and overseas targets.
Hysen Sherifi was one of six Raleigh-area Muslims convicted in 2011 of plotting to attack the Marine base in Quantico, Va., and overseas targets.
While in custody in the terror case, he asked another inmate to help him hire a hit man to behead government witnesses who testified against him. He recruited his brother Shkumbin Sherifi and former special education teacher Nevine Aly Elshiekh to help with details like paying the hit man.
Already serving a 45-year federal sentence in the terror plot, Sherifi lectured U.S. District Judge Earl Britt about Islamic teachings.
"If you do not submit, he will severely judge you and on the day of judgment you will enter hellfire," Sherifi warned Britt.
Britt listened, then sentenced Sherifi to four life sentences.
"There can be no doubt Mr. Sherifi, the defendant in this case, meets the definition of a terrorist," Britt said.
Sherifi destroyed the lives of his brother Shkumbin and Elshiekh by persuading them to act as intermediaries and raise money for his murder-for-hire plot, Britt said. Shkumbin Sherifi and Elshiekh were also scheduled for sentencing Friday. Prosecutors offered them plea deals, agreeing to drop eight other counts in exchange for testimony against Hysen Sherifi.
The Sherifis are ethnic Albanians who fled Kosovo in 1999 during a brutal sectarian war with Serbs.