Professor/FBI informant/Islamic terrorist financier?
The Sami Al-Arian case, already weirder than most, just got weirder. Thanks to DC Watson for the link:
TAMPA, Florida (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former professor accused of financing terrorism was briefly an FBI informant, according to court documents.
The disclosure came in the government’s response to efforts by lawyers for Sami Al-Arian to obtain the taped conversations the former University of South Florida professor had with congressmen and top aides in the Bush and Clinton administrations.
“The government acknowledged that defendant Al-Arian was a source of information for a brief period of time,” assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Zitek wrote in the response. There were no additional details.
Al-Arian’s attorneys wanted the government to provide dates, times, places and circumstances that Al-Arian was used as a source, and any evaluations of the information he provided — information they believe will help clear him.
The government responded it has no “duty to produce information the defendant already knows.”
The U.S. attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Linda Moreno, one of Al-Arian’s defense attorneys, declined to comment Monday on the government’s disclosure. She said a response will be made in court.
Al-Arian and three other men face a 50-count federal indictment alleging they used an Islamic charity and academic think tank as a fund-raising front for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A trial is set for next January.
Al-Arian has denied he supported terrorism and said his charity and the think tank were legitimate enterprises that promoted discussion of Palestinian rights.