Posted Sunday, July 11, 1999

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June 25, 1997

Synagogue-Bombing Jew Gets 10 Years


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - An Orthodox Jew was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for planting a pipe bomb at a Jewish center to try to prevent former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres from speaking.

Harry Shapiro, 31, planted the pipe bomb at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in February and pleaded guilty a month later. The device, found nine days later, was a dud.

"To Mr. Peres, I apologize, for I was wrong in thinking I should be part of your punishment," Shapiro said in court. "Your punishment will come from heaven and no man should or will be a part of it."

U.S. District Judge Ralph W. Nimmons Jr. sentenced Shapiro for using an explsive to threaten a foreign official, internationally protected person and official guest of the U.S. government.

By pleading guilty, Shapiro avoided an additional federal charge of using an explosive in the commission of a crime, which could have sent him to prison for another 30 years if convicted.

Police believe the device was planted February 13, the day of Peres' visit, and missed by security teams. Children found the dud pipe bomb February 22.

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