Chicago terrorist asks judge for early release to attend college


ByChuck Goudie and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
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Shaker Masri

Chicago terrorist Shaker Masri wants out of prison early so he can attend college, and the I-Team has obtained a letter he sent to a federal judge where he made his case.

Masri, who wanted to blow up a busload of American soldiers, is currently in federal prison. However, according to court records he has also been accepted as a student at Harold Washington College in Chicago and is eligible for government tuition aid of almost $6,000.

So now, the Masri wants a federal judge to release him early to a halfway house near the college so he can restart his life.


On an undercover tap, Masri said he wanted to strap on a bomb vest and blow himself up next to a military bus on a Chicago street. Authorities intercepted the Gold Coast resident as he was leaving for Somalia to train with radical jihadists.

Masri pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2012 to nearly ten years in prison.

However, in a personal letter to the judge who sentenced him, Masri claims he has been a model inmate, spending time wisely behind bars. "I was never a bad person," he said. "I was stupid and delusion and I made bad choices."

According to a letter from the college that he also sent to the judge, Masri was accepted as a student in July and even has a student ID number.

He used an apartment building in Wheaton as his address, but he currently resides 465 miles away in Sandstone, Minn., at a federal penitentiary.

Masri also provided a letter from the U.S. education department stating that he may be eligible for a federal Pell Grant of more than $5,800 and other student grants and loans.


Six years ago, Masri's name was on a different official document. In an al-Qaeda magazine, his name was on a list of U.S. prisoners that the terrorist group wanted released.

Now, the 33-year-old is making an offer of penance, telling the judge that he will "work very hard to dissuade young Muslims from extremism, by using my experience." his letter signed "yours truthfully."

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Masri's release date as Feb. 2018. He claims to be eligible for early release to a halfway house this coming February and wants to start college classes in March.

As for government student aid, ex-cons from drug cases and sex crimes are not acceptable but apparently convicted terrorists are eligible for federal grants and loans.

In a statement, a Harold Washington College spokesperson said:

"CCC is committed to providing each and every student applicant with an opportunity to obtain an education that will prepare them for success in the next step of their educational and professional careers. As an open access institution committed to preventing discrimination, we do not conduct background checks on our student applicants. The letter included in court documents is CCC's standard acceptance letter sent to all applicants, and only marks the beginning of the admissions process."