Soon Sami will bid us goodbye, and will no doubt resurface in Ramallah or Damascus as a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Rumpled Academic Update: “Sentencing Expected Today in Terror Case of Former Fla. Professor,” from AP, :
TAMPA, April 30 — The long terrorism conspiracy case of Sami al-Arian is drawing to a close, and the former Tampa college professor could soon walk out of his jail cell and into the hands of immigration officers to be deported.
Al-Arian, 48, a former computer engineering professor at the University of South Florida, is expected to be sentenced Monday morning after pleading guilty April 14 to supporting members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group responsible for hundreds of deaths in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Although a jury did not convict al-Arian of any of the 17 charges against him after five months on trial last year, he took the plea deal, family members said, to get out of jail and end their suffering….
Sure. And the plea agreement explicitly says that he is not pleading guilty for any reason other than that he is guilty, and knows that the feds can make their case. And that he is doing it freely, without coercion.
So if none of that is true, as AP implies here, he should now be tried for perjury.
As part of the plea agreement, al-Arian admitted to being associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the late 1980s and providing “services” for the group, which included filing for immigration benefits for key members, hiding the identities of those men and lying about his involvement.
Those men included Ramadan Shallah, a colleague at al-Arian’s Palestinian think tank in Tampa who later emerged as the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Middle East.
Salvage attempt alert:
Al-Arian admitted to considerably less guilt than prosecutors tried to prove at trial. They described al-Arian as the leader of a North American cell of the Palestinian group, raising money for suicide bombings and spreading the word in what was described as a “cycle of terror.”…
And, because AP can’t resist trying yet again to give the story what for them is a positive spin, it concludes with one last attempt to portray what they consider a defeat — the deportation of Al-Arian — as a victory. They do this by again referring to his acquittal, which is now irrelevant in light of his guilty plea:
The failure to convict al-Arian was a stinging rebuke for the federal government. His case was once hailed by authorities as a triumph of the USA Patriot Act, which allowed secret wiretaps and other information gathered by intelligence agents to be used in criminal prosecutions.