Judge to rule on would-be NYC subway bomber

Shahawar Matin Siraj was either a naive stooge lured into a phony bomb plot or a homegrown terrorist determined to inflict misery on New Yorkers as revenge for wartime abuses of Iraqis. Lawyers for Siraj - convicted of conspiring to blow up one of the city's busiest subway stations - and prosecutors painted the conflicting portraits recently in court papers in advance of his sentencing Monday in federal court. Defense attorneys have sought to convince a judge that Siraj's sentence should not exceed 10 years since the attack never came close to being carried out. Siraj, a 21-year-old high school dropout at the time of his August 2004 arrest, "is not a dangerous psychopath, but more of a confused and misguided youngster," the defense team argued in its papers.