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Ahmed Abu Ali: Guilty of Being Muslim in America at the Wrong Time

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-- conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists;

-- providing material support to terrorists;

-- contribution of services to Al Qaeda; and

-- receipt of funds and services from Al Qaeda.

It claimed he "advised (an unnamed) co-conspirator whom he had met on previous travels to Medina, Saudi Arabia, of his interest in joining Al Qaeda," and that he "intended to become a planner of terrorist operations like Muhammad Atta and Khalid Sheik Muhammad." It also alleges that he and another co-conspirator discussed plans to assassinate George Bush, either close range by gun shot or car bomb.

On November 22, 2005, he was convicted on all charges, the jury rejecting his testimony that his Saudi captors tortured him into confessing. Two doctors who examined him agreed, but their testimony was suppressed - a clear Sixth Amendment violation that assures:

"the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury....to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of (competent) Counsel (and enough time) for (a proper) defense."

Although the Sixth Amendment doesn't specifically prohibit attorney-client communications, doing so clearly violates its spirit and provision for a proper defense. More on that below.

Worse still, government witnesses were allowed, including from Saudi guards (translated by live satellite feed using pseudonyms for "security reasons") who tortured him yet they denied using it on anyone, contradicting clear evidence the State Department acknowledges, but the defense wasn't allowed to introduce it - a Fifth Amendment violation that no one shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," meaning a fair trial according to established legal standards, what prosecutors flagrantly prohibited.

Further, Saudis admitted that US prosecutors "ordered" certain questions be asked, and FBI agents participated - clear evidence that Washington engineered the entire process, including his interrogation and torture that took place from 8PM - 6AM on successive days, during which he was shackled, chained, ordered to confess in writing, then read it aloud during videotaping.

Before trial, prosecutors called him "one of the most dangerous terrorist threats that America faces" since 9/11. His lawyer, John K. Zwerling, said he was in Saudi Arabia for religious studies, now bogusly convicted of terrorism and a plot to kill George Bush.

On March 29, 2006, a DOJ press release announced his conviction on nine charges, three above the original six, including:

-- a conspiracy to kill George Bush;

-- conspiracy to commit air piracy; and

-- conspiracy to destroy an aircraft.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by 30 more on supervised release. His co-conspirators weren't named, yet prosecutors claimed "he received training from members of (an Al Qaeda cell) in weapons, explosives, and document forgery." Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty called his conviction "a milestone achievement in the international effort to bring terrorists to justice." With Abu Ali behind bars, he's "no longer a threat to the American people."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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