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Thursday, February 29, 2024

New York subway shooter pleads guilty to terrorism charges

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A 63-year-old man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to US federal terrorism charges for shooting 10 people on the New York subway last year.

Frank James had initially denied firing on commuters as a crowded subway train pulled into a Brooklyn station on April 12.

But he changed his plea and now faces a potential sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors said James wore an orange reflective jacket and yellow hardhat to make him look like a subway employee for carrying out his attack.

He detonated two smoke canisters and then fired more than 30 times on morning rush hour commuters at the station in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn.

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James was charged with 10 counts of terrorism, one for each person wounded. Around a dozen others were injured in the ensuing panic. No one was killed.

James also pleaded guilty to a single charge of illegally discharging a firearm.

He read a brief statement in which he said he had traveled from Philadelphia to New York City with the intention of causing “serious bodily injuries” but not to kill anyone.

James fled the scene, triggering a day-long manhunt until he was detained by officers on a Manhattan street.

Prosecutors said he had planned the attack since 2017 and a search of his apartment had discovered “a stockpile of weapons.”

Prior to the assault, James had posted several videos of himself on YouTube delivering long political tirades, as well as criticizing New York City’s mayor.

James’s lawyers had said that their client had a history of mental illness.

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