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Two Men Convicted In Bomb Trial

February 3, 1988

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) _ A federal jury convicted a Lebanese-born Canadian on Tuesday of smuggling a bomb into the United States and found a co-defendant guilty on related charges.

The panel deliberated for about two hours before convicting Walid Kabbani, 38, and Georges Fouad Nicholas Younan, 45, of four counts each.

Kabbani, Younan and a third man, Walid Majib Mourad, were charged with violating explosives and immigration laws. Mourad, 38, pleaded guilty last week to reduced charges.

All three work in the garment business in Montreal, and all were born in Lebanon.

The trial concluded without any indication as to where the trio were going with the bomb or what they were planning to do with it.

U.S. Attorney George Terwilliger said the government has information on their plans, but that he chose not to bring it up at trial.

″It wasn’t relevant to proving the offense they were on trial for,″ Terwilliger said. He said their plans are still under investigation.

U.S. District Judge Albert Coffrin was expected to set a sentencing date later.

Authorities alleged Kabbani sneaked across the border at Richford on foot Oct. 23, 1987, with a bag that contained the bomb. They said Younan and Mourad crossed the border legally in a van at Richford and were arrested at a motel.

Lawyers for Kabbani and Younan argued there was no link between the two. They said no law enforcement official saw them together before they were arrested.

The prosecution said there were various contacts between them, including telephone calls and Canadian witnesses who saw them together in Montreal.

Kabbani was found guilty of receiving and transporting explosive materials in interstate commerce, receiving and possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing a firearm brought into the United States, and illegal entry, deputy court clerk Germaine Curran said. The firearm was the bomb, officials said.

She said Younan was found innocent of the explosive materials charge, but guilty of aiding and abetting the transport of explosive materials. He also was found guilty of receiving and possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing a firearm brought into the U.S. and transporting an alien within the U.S., she said.

Kabbani faces a penalty of 30 years in jail and $750,000 in fines, while Younan faces 35 years in jail and a $1 million fine, Terwilliger said.

Prosecutors rested their case Monday after showing the jury a videotape depicting the detonation of an FBI-made bomb similar to the one smuggled into the country.

The FBI made the bomb to match the one seized that day, said Alan Jordan, an FBI explosives expert.

Terwillinger said some of the results of the investigation would be made available to the court in connection with sentencing, Terwilliger said.

His office, the FBI and the U.S. Border Patrol are all still working on the case, he said.