Lobbying for a Convicted Terrorist

[National Review] Steve Emerson - Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative who was found in contempt of court for refusing to comply with grand jury subpoenas, is now defying his third subpoena to testify in a terror-finance investigation involving a Virginia-based network that provided Al-Arian's organizations with tens of thousands of dollars in the 1990s. In 2006, Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison, with credit for time served, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to provide support to the PIJ. His plea agreement reads: "During the period of the late 1980s, and early to mid-1990s, defendant Al-Arian was associated with several organizations, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad." In addition, "Defendant Al-Arian was aware that the PIJ achieved its objectives by, among other means, acts of violence." Evidence presented at Al-Arian's trial showed he was on the PIJ Shura Council - its governing board. Yet the New York Times holds out the possibility Al-Arian is "nothing more sinister than an outspoken Palestinian activist" suffering the wrath of a vengeful Department of Justice. The writer is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

2008-04-22 01:00:00

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