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‘Terrorist’ Professor Deported To Palestine

From the terrorist-lovers at Reuters:

Palestinian deported after Florida Jihad trial

Wed May 24, 2006 12:51 PM ET

By Robert Green

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) – A co-defendant who was acquitted of all charges in the Florida terrorism trial of ex-college professor Sami al-Arian has been deported to the Palestinian territories, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Federal agents took Sameeh Hammoudeh from a prison near Tampa on Monday and escorted him to Ramallah in the West Bank. He had agreed to be deported after pleading guilty to a separate tax fraud charge.

Hammoudeh’s wife and six children were taken to Ramallah in February.

"The order of deportation has been carried out. Sameeh Hammoudeh is in Palestinian territory," said Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Hammoudeh, al-Arian and two other men were arrested in February 2003 on charges they provided money and support for the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, which the United States lists as a terrorist organization and blames for more than 100 deaths in Israel.

The case against al-Arian was considered an important test of the U.S. government’s surveillance powers, which were strengthened after the September 11 attacks. It was built on thousands of hours of wiretapped phone calls and intercepted e-mails gathered over a decade.

Hammoudeh was acquitted of all 10 charges against him after a six-month trial that ended in December.

Al-Arian, fired from his job at the University of South Florida after his arrest, was acquitted at the trial of eight of the 17 charges against him and the jury deadlocked on the other nine.

In April, al-Arian pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to help the Islamic Jihad, and the other eight charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison with credit for the 38 months he had already served, and is to be deported when he finishes his sentence.

Co-defendant Ghassan Ballut was acquitted on all 26 counts against him and returned to his home near Chicago.

The fourth defendant, Hatem Fariz, was acquitted on 25 of the 33 charges against him. He faces retrial on the remaining eight charges in August unless he also agrees to a plea deal with the government.

Home at last.

The next time we hear about him he will probably have strapped some explosives to himself and blown up some hapless Israelis.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 24th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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