A Mississauga, Ont., man was given a 14-year sentence after admitting he helped hatch a bomb plot three years ago against sites such as the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada's intelligence agency and an Ontario military base.

Saad Khalid, 23, is a member of the so-called "Toronto 18," who plotted a conspiracy to commit terrorism in the heart of Canada's largest city. However, the judge gave Khalid seven years of credit for time already served.

Though Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno accepted that Khalid is remorseful, he noted that terrorist offences are "the most vile" of crimes.

Durno added that Khalid's degree of responsibility in the plot "remains fairly high."

The judge left the parole board to decide Khalid's eligibility for early release.

Police arrested Khalid in a June 2, 2006, sting operation, as he and an alleged accomplice unloaded what they thought was more than a tonne of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, an explosive agent. Khalid was 19 years-old at the time.

Sixteen other suspects in the Toronto area were arrested on the same day, in a coordinated police operation that drew international media attention. The eighteenth suspect was taken into custody two months later.

Fourteen of the suspects were men and four were male youths. All were rounded up after police paid an informant named Shaher Elsohemy to gain access to the group, and document its activity.

Each of the accused was charged with terrorism-related offenses. However, charges against seven of the accused were later stayed.

The former University of Toronto business student said earlier in court that he made "a huge mistake," and his lawyer argued that Khalid played a minor role in the bombing plot.

During his trial in Brampton, Ont., Khalid pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a terror plot with the intention of causing an explosion. He is the only suspect in the case to plead guilty so far.

According to a "statement of uncontested facts" that was read in court at his sentencing hearing in June, Khalid helped rent warehouse space in Newmarket, Ont., where the group was supposed to store the fertilizer. He was also responsible for receiving the fertilizer when it was delivered.

The court heard that Khalid attended a winter retreat in December 2005, in Washago, Ont. Police described that event as a terrorist training session.

The ultimate goal of the attacks was to prompt Parliament to withdraw Canadian forces from Afghanistan.

"I was not motivated by a hate for Canada," Khalid said in court. "I am not a lunatic who is hell-bent on the destruction of western civilization."

"I need a second chance and I do not think that keeping me in jail and throwing away the key will be good for society or for me."

Khalid moved to Canada from Pakistan when he was 8, and later attended Meadowvale Secondary School in Mississauga.

The Crown argued that Khalid was "willfully blind" if he was unaware the group intended to harm people, and has asked that he be given 18 to 20 years in prison.

The defence had asked for a two-year prison term, plus time already served in jail.

In May, an unidentified 20-year-old man was sentenced to a 30-month jail term in connection with the case. He became the first person to be convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act that Ottawa passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S.

The identities of the other accused are protected under a court-ordered publication ban. Their trials are expected begin next year.

With files from The Canadian Press