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Besides All the Crime in Chicago, There’s Also Jihad Terror Plotting

My latest in PJ Media:

Chicago under the misrule of its woke mayor Lori Lightfoot is already a sinkhole of gang violence, drug abuse, and vaccine tyranny, and it’s even worse than you think. On Monday, the Justice Department announced that “an Illinois man pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Al-Nusra Front (ANF).” On the same day, another Chicago man was convicted of providing support to ISIS. If this sort of thing keeps up, the skyrocketing crime rate in the Windy City may be the least of Lightfoot’s troubles.

Chicago’s Dilshod Khusanov, 36, according to the DOJ, will be deported after he serves a prison term. He “encouraged individuals to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad, or holy war, in 2014 and 2015. For example, on Sept. 28, 2014, Khusanov urged co-conspirator Akmal Zakirov to engage in jihad: ‘I hope that the only [reason] that is preventing you from jihad is some mistakes and flaws that are occurring among the other fighters.’ Khusanov explained that it would be better to help those fighters, rather than criticize them.”

Khusanov was part of a group of jihad plotters inside the United States who raised money to help get ISIS jihadis to the front lines: “Later in 2014, two Brooklyn residents, Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov began planning to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS.” To further this goal, “a group of individuals in a domestic network based in New York and elsewhere, including Khusanov, worked together to raise and contribute money to help fund that trip to Syria.”

This group began discussing ways to finance Saidakhmetov’s trip to Syria; two members of the group “also agreed to solicit money from others to fund Saidakhmetov’s travel.” They were the ones who contacted Khusanov, who then “arranged for money to be deposited in Zakirov’s bank account before Saidakhmetov’s scheduled departure.”

All of this came to naught, however, when Saidakhmetov was “arrested in February 2015 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, as he boarded a plane bound for Istanbul, Turkey, a transit point for foreign fighters bound for Syria.”

Osadzinski, meanwhile, a former student at Chicago’s DePaul University, was also at work aiding ISIS, apparently independently of Khusanov’s cell. According to the Voice of America, he “wrote a computer code to help IS bypass programs designed to block the group’s propaganda.” He exclaimed that he couldn’t just “sit in the chair while Muslims are dying”; he began studying how to make bombs, and spoke about the massacres he would perpetrate “once I get my gun and explosive belt.”

There is more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Chicago: Man converts to Islam, writes computer code for ISIS, his lawyer says ‘liking ISIS is not illegal’

From whom did Thomas Osadzinski learn about Islam? Where did he go to mosque? Is that mosque being investigated? Why not?

US Student Faces Prison for Helping Islamic State

Associated Press, October 19, 2021:

CHICAGO — A former Chicago college student was convicted Monday of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

Thomas Osadzinski, 22, wrote a computer code to help IS bypass programs designed to block the group’s propaganda, prosecutors said. The former DePaul University student, who was born in a Chicago suburb, was living in the city when he was arrested in 2019 during an FBI sting. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

His attorney, Joshua Herman, said during closing arguments that the case centered on the right to free speech and that Osadzinski had the right to watch and share the videos.

“Liking ISIS is not illegal,” Herman said in court.

But prosecutors alleged Osadzinski worked in coordination or at the direction of IS. Authorities said Osadzinski boasted in communications about his computer skills and ability to speak Arabic, and he bragged that he would use a gun and explosives to elude authorities if need be….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

New York: Muslim Uber driver convicted of attempting to join Taliban and kill Americans

“Hossain, a naturalized U.S. citizen and Bangladesh native, took pains to not appear to be a religious extremist to authorities, according to prosecutors. He trimmed his beard and hair, switching from traditional garb to American clothing.”

“The Prophet said, ‘War is deceit.’” (Bukhari 4.52.269)

N.Y. Uber driver who wanted to join Taliban convicted on terrorism-related charges

by Shayna Jacobs, Washington Post, October 8, 2021 (thanks to Darcy):

NEW YORK — An Uber driver who saved his earnings to travel to Afghanistan, where he hoped to join the Taliban and kill Americans, was convicted Friday after less than two days of deliberations on two charges related to his plan to support and serve the terrorist organization.

Delowar Mohammed Hossain, 36, was found guilty of attempting to provide material support for terrorism and attempting to make a contribution of resources to the Taliban. Combined, he faces up to 35 years in prison when he’s sentenced. A sentencing date was scheduled for early next year….

The Bronx resident who worked as a driver for the ride-sharing app was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in July 2019 when he was expecting to fly to Thailand — a stop prosecutors argued was part of his protracted route to Taliban territory….

Hossain, a naturalized U.S. citizen and Bangladesh native, took pains to not appear to be a religious extremist to authorities, according to prosecutors. He trimmed his beard and hair, switching from traditional garb to American clothing….

His true objective was intercepted by a pair of FBI informants whom he believed were his recruits to join him in “jihad,” or a holy war….The FBI learned about Hossain through one of the informants — a Bronx bodega owner who encountered him at a mosque….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

ILLINOIS: Men Convert to Islam, Plot Jihad Mass Murder, Plan Attack on Chicago Naval Station

Where did Joseph Jones and Edward Schimenti learn about Islam? Has their local mosque been investigated? Why not?

“Zion man sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for conspiring to assist ISIS,” by Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, March 3, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A north suburban man was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in federal prison for attempting to aid the Islamic State terrorist group by providing cellphones to an undercover FBI agent to be used as detonators for bombs.

Joseph Jones and his friend Edward Schimentiwere [sic] convicted by a federal jury in 2019 of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

In rejecting prosecutors’ request for a 17-year term, U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood said that while any terrorism case is serious, the scheme that Jones was convicted of “was not of comparable severity” as many others where specific violence was planned.

“This is not a case where anyone claims Mr. Jones was actually planning on carrying out a terrorism attack,” Wood said. “And it’s not disputed … that Mr. Jones never actually made contact with anyone directly involved with ISIS.”…

Jones also insisted he was never out to hurt anybody but simply “trying to be a good Muslim and a good American.”

“I consider myself a patriot,” he said in a voice choked with emotion. “I have my own view and my own beliefs, and it’s not about hatred.”

In asking for a 17-year sentence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas wrote in a court filing that although the friends were not planning to travel overseas themselves to fight, they celebrated the violence that ISIS perpetrated and believed they were assisting in it.

“The defendants deliberately attempted to assist an extremely violent terrorist group they knew was engaged in a wide range of atrocities,” Jonas wrote. “Not only were defendants aware of these atrocities, they celebrated them, gleefully watching horrific execution videos and sharing such ISIS propaganda online.”…

Jones found Islam as a teen and credits the religion with helping get him sober, Boyle said. But his continuing research on the formation of an Islamic state “took him to dark places on the internet,” including “slick” videos produced by ISIS that glorified attacks on civilians, which Jones does not condone.

“He believes that Islam never justifies violence against people who are just trying to live their lives,” Boyle wrote.

Renewing an argument from trial that Jones was entrapped by undercover FBI agents, Boyle said that Jones feels betrayed by the government and that “they pressured him into something he didn’t want to do.”…

Jurors were shown one propaganda video found on Schimenti’s computer showing terrorists clad in all black standing behind six captured Kurdish fighters whispering prayers while on their knees. Prosecutors stopped the video as the terrorist narrating it in English held a large knife up to the throat of one of the captives….

In February 2017, Schimenti took the informant to a gym in Zion to train for the battlefield. Remarking on his own weight problem, Schimenti said on an undercover recording that what mattered most in jihad was “hand-to-hand” combat skills, not physical fitness.

“Man, you know I’m all big, fat,” Schimenti said on the recording played for jurors. “But (God willing) the brothers will just have me be the one to cut the neck.”

Although the charges do not allege the two participated in any violence, Schimenti talked with the informant about future plans to attack Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, a short distance from his home.

On April 7, 2017, Schimenti and Jones dropped off Mohammed at O’Hare International Airport equipped with cellphones they had purchased at his direction, according to the charges.

“Drench that land with they, they blood,” Schimenti allegedly said as he and Jones saw the man off at the airport.

Boyle told reporters he was “disappointed” that jurors rejected his argument of entrapment….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Muslim U.S. Army Soldier Arrested over Plot to Bomb U.S. troops and Commit Jihad Massacre at 9/11 Memorial

Yet another convert to Islam gets the crazy idea that his new religion commands him to commit treason and mass murder. Are authorities investigating who taught him Islam, and what kind of influence they have? Why not?

“‘Islamic State-inspired’ US soldier arrested over alleged plot to bomb American troops and attack NYC 9/11 Memorial,” RT, January 19, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

An American soldier has been arrested on terrorism charges, including suggesting wiring explosives into buildings as part of an Islamic State plot to kill US troops, as well as allegedly planning an attack on the 9/11 Memorial.

Ohio man Cole James Bridges, 20, was held in Georgia on Tuesday, and is charged with the assistance of a foreign terrorist organization and the attempted murder of US military service members, the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

The private first class, also known as Cole Gonzales, had expressed his support for the terrorist Islamic State group (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on social media, according to the criminal complaint unsealed on Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court.

After joining the US Army in late 2019, Bridges began unknowingly communicating with a member of the FBI in October last year, with the bureau employee posing as an IS supporter who claimed to be in touch with the terrorist group in the Middle East.

The soldier is then said to have used his army training to guide supposed IS fighters about potential attacks in New York City, including on the 9/11 Memorial.

In December 2020, Bridges allegedly provided diagrams of “specific military maneuvers” to help IS fighters “maximize the lethality of attacks on US troops” while also pledging his allegiance to the terrorist group in videos. He suggested militants should wire particular buildings with explosives in order to kill American troops, the charges claim….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Jihad Terrorist in New York City You Heard Nothing About

My latest in PJ Media:

While the New York Police Department zealously guards Mayor de Blasio’s infamous “Black Lives Matter” street graffiti in front of Trump Tower, other, more serious endeavors continue that, if the city had a rational mayor, might actually have a better claim on the NYPD’s time and resources. Those include Islamic jihad terrorism.

Last Tuesday, a New York-based convert to Islam with the emphatically Christian name of Jesus Encarnacion got 15 years in prison for attempting to aid a jihad terror group.

The Justice Department’s account of his activities makes for hair-raising reading, and reminds us yet again that Bill de Blasio, like other Leftist mayors and governors, is chasing phantom problems (Russiagate, the USPS “scandal,” and many, many more) while there are real and pressing troubles that warrant his attention.

Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion, heedless of the fact that many, if not most, Americans, at least those on the Left, take jihad terrorism to be yesterday’s news and no longer a threat to the United States (if it ever was), was a fearless keyboard warrior who called himself “Jihadistsoldgier,” “Jihadinhear,” “Jihadinheart,” “Lionofthegood.”

Ercarnacion, however, was not content to wage jihad only on his computer screen. He got his prison sentence for plotting to join a Pakistani jihad terrorist organization, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), which has carried out numerous jihad massacres, including the infamous Mumbai attack of November 2008, in which jihadis murdered 172 people. The State Department considers LeT to be a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Audrey Strauss, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, explained that “Jesus Encarnacion plotted to travel abroad, to join and train with Lashkar e-Tayyiba, infamous worldwide for the jihadist murder of innocent civilians, and to carry out shootings, bombings, and beheadings in behalf of that terrorist organization.”

Traveling overseas was not actually Encarnacion’s first choice for his jihad. He told someone he thought was a fellow Muslim but was actually an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to carry out “a bombing and shooting” for Allah in the United States, but didn’t have either the “guidance” or the “guns” he thought he needed in order to do so.

There is much more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

South Carolina: Man converts to Islam, plants bombs disguised as teddy bears for children to find

Yet another convert to Islam gets the idea that his new, peaceful religion requires him to commit treason and mass murder. Authorities the world over maintain a steadfast indifference regarding this ongoing phenomenon.

“‘YOU’RE NO LONGER SAFE’ ISIS maniac, 27, disguised ‘lethal’ shrapnel bombs as teddy bears and dumped them in US streets where kids could find them,” by Christy Cooney, The Sun, June 18, 2019:

An ISIS supporter disguised potentially lethal bombs as household items and left them in the street for members of the public to find.

Wesley Dallas Ayers, 27, planted three real bombs, including one disguised as a teddy bear, and three fake ones around South Carolina.

The FBI has now released images of the disturbing packages planted by Ayers, who was given a 30-year prison sentence in February.

One man received minor burns to his leg after a wicker basket he had noticed glowing while driving with his daughter exploded.

Police later discovered a note written in Arabic and referencing Osama bin Laden.

In the following weeks, two more genuine bombs were found by members of the public but rendered safe by law enforcement.

The teddy-shaped bomb was found left in the road, its eyes also glowing to make it visible.

FBI Special Agent Christopher Derrickson said: “This was deliberately placed where a child or passerby could have found it.

“Fortunately, someone saw it and knew to call us.”

Three hoax objects were also found in different locations with notes declaring that the community was no longer safe.

One object designed to resemble a bomb was left in a black box containing a letter pledging allegiance to the Islamic State….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Obama Apologizes for Drone Strike in Pakistan that Killed U.S. and Italian Hostages

The Wall Street Journal reported the disclosure of a classified drone attack on an Al Qaeda compound in January that mistakenly killed an American hostage, Dr. Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker, Giovanni Lo Porto.  An Al Qaeda senior operative, Ahmed Farouq who held dual U.S. and Pakistan citizenship was the target of the attack in the controversial CIA covert operation. Dr. Weinstein had been held since 2011.  The WSJ noted the reactions of the President, Italian Premier Renzi and Weinstein’s widow:

The intelligence that underpinned the drone strike turned out to have been tragically incomplete, U.S. officials and lawmakers said Thursday.

The deaths prompted President Barack Obama, who has expanded and redefined the use of U.S. drones, to take full responsibility.

“I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government I offer our deepest apologies to their families,” he said at the White House.

But Mr. Weinstein’s family expressed disillusionment at the U.S. and Pakistani approach to his capture and imprisonment by al Qaeda.

“We were so hopeful that those in the U.S. and Pakistani governments with the power to take action and secure his release would have done everything possible to do so, and there are no words to do justice to the disappointment and heartbreak we are going through,” said Elaine Weinstein, the American hostage’s widow.

Mr. Obama said he spoke with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Mr. Weinstein’s family.

Mr. Obama knew about the deaths of the hostages when he met with Mr. Renzi in Washington last Friday but Mr. Obama didn’t tell him, a senior administration official said. Mr. Obama wanted to first develop a plan for sharing the news with the families and the public, the official said.

Mr. Renzi on Thursday expressed “deepest condolences” to the Lo Porto family, as well to the family of Mr. Weinstein. The Italian foreign ministry’s crisis unit immediately contacted Mr. Lo Porto’s family after Mr. Obama’s call.

However, the CIA drone strike that mistakenly killed the two hostages met the rules of engagement:

It was the first known instance in which the Central Intelligence Agency killed hostages in a drone strike. The deaths were a major blow to the spy agency, which conducts the attacks largely behind a cloak of secrecy.

The CIA used rules of engagement that allow drone strikes against suspected militants even if the agency isn’t sure who they are.

The White House has launched a review of the strike to see if changes are needed to the program to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Officials said the program hasn’t been curtailed so far in response.

But Mr. Obama said the initial U.S. assessment of the strike shows it was fully consistent with the guidelines under which his administration conducts such counterterrorism operations.

The CIA launched the strike that killed the hostages under the broad authorities given to the agency to target suspected al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, senior Obama administration officials said. Mr. Obama didn’t directly sign off on the strike beforehand, they said.

JM Berger, author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the name of Islam writes about the demise of three American Al Qaeda operatives:  Adam Gadahn, Jewish convert to Salafist Islam who headed AQ Central Media operation, Samir Kahn who fled North Carolina to join American born AQAP leader, Anwar al Awlaki in Yemen to edit Inspire Magazine  and Omar Hammami, a Daphne, Alabama native, born of a Baptist mother and Syrian Muslim engineer father,  who became an Al Shabaab media star and commander.

The title of Berger’s Politico Magazine article, “Al Qaeda’s American Dream Ends”   is both a chronicle of the trio’s exploits and circumstances about their demise.  As we learned today, Gadahn was killed in a separate drone attack by the CIA covert program. Kahn was also killed in a drone strike in Yemen, as was American-born AQAP leader, Sheik Anwar al-Awlaki.  The two hostages, American development expert Dr. Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto were killed in a US Drone strike under murky circumstances in January 2015 along with AQ leader Ahmed Farouq who had dual US and Pakistani citizenship.  Farouq was allegedly head of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

President Obama apologized and took responsibility as Commander in Chief for the failure of the mission to secure the freedom of the hostages, although the decision was delegated to others in the clandestine drone program. The error is reflective of the lack of intelligence assets, a product of reliance on drones to attack AQ leaders under approved rules of engagement.

Hammami was killed in an ambush by Al Shabaab in 2013 because he became increasingly critical of the leadership. Both Gadahn and Khan, as Berger points out, provided a template for the slick graphic/ video production and social media campaigns run by ISIS. The title of Berger’s piece is somewhat misleading. While Gadahn, Kahn and Hammami were prominent American Jihadis, others, especially in the Muslim émigré communities in the US are taking their place as recruits for ISIS.  For AQ the American Dream may have ended. For ISIS it is only just beginning with few prospects for counterterrorism echelons in our government to create effective de-radicalization programs aimed at preventing these Americans from joining the thongs of tens of thousands from around the Muslim ummah to fight and die for the pure Islamic State. That is because the President refuses to recognize the attraction of Salafist Jihadist Islam at the core of Muslim terrorism.

Today’s revelations illustrate why the U.S. has lost credibility in relying only on drone strikes to degrade AQ leadership rather than coordinating it with verifiable intelligence from assets in the field.

We understand completely the grief and frustration of the Weinstein and Lo Porto families who criticized both the US and Pakistani governments for not securing the freedom of their late loved ones languishing for years as AQ hostages.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Dr. Warren Weinstein U.S. Development expert and Giovanni Lo Porto Italian aid worker killed in January 2015 by a U.S. drone attack. Source: AP and Facebook Page.

Contempt Case against University of South Florida Jihadist Professor Sami Al-Arian Dropped, Clearing way for Deportation

After years of denial, Sami Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a charge of “conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds to or for the benefit of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist” organization. He agreed to accept deportation. In his 2002 defense of Al-Arian, Eric Boehlert wrote: “The al-Arian story reveals what happens when journalists, abandoning their role as unbiased observers, lead an ignorant, alarmist crusade against suspicious foreigners who in a time of war don’t have the power of the press or public sympathy to fight back.” Reality is just the opposite. The al-Arian story reveals what happens when Leftist journalists and academics, abandoning any pretense to being unbiased observers, lead an ignorant, alarmist crusade against patriotic Americans who in a time of war try to defend our country from those whose politics make them the darlings of the Leftist media and academic establishment.

Even all these years later, Josh Gerstein of Politico indulges in some of the same relentlessly biased reporting: “After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Al-Arian was involved in a highly-publicized, confrontational interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who accused the professor of making anti-Israel statements and again raised questions about his think tank’s alleged ties to terror. Al-Arian received death threats after the on-air exchange and was suspended from the university.” This portrays al-Arian — even so many years after he pleaded guilty to being part of Palestinian Islamic Jihad — as the victim: the poor lamb received death threats (although Gerstein has never deigned to notice the huge numbers of death threats that counter-jihadists receive). And Gerstein says that O’Reilly accused al-Arian of making anti-Israel statements while declining to inform his hapless readers that al-Arian is on tape shrieking, “Death to America, death to Israel, jihad, jihad, jihad!”

“Feds drop Sami Al-Arian prosecution,” by Josh Gerstein, Politico, June 27, 2014:

The Justice Department has dropped a long-stalled second criminal prosecution of a former college professor who pleaded guilty to aiding a terrorist group following a high-profile trial in Florida that ended with a muddled verdict almost a decade ago.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., filed a motion Friday seeking to dismiss a criminal contempt indictment brought in 2008 against former University of South Florida mechanical engineering professor Sami Al-Arian, who was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents.

In the new filing, prosecutors said they decided to give up on the contempt case after delays precipitated by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema sitting for years on a critical motion in the case without ruling one way or another.

In light of the passage of time without resolution, the United States has decided that the best available course of action is to move to dismiss the indictment so that action can be taken to remove the defendant from the United States,” prosecutor Gordon Kromberg wrote.

In a statement released through Al-Arian’s attorney, the 56-year-old former professor’s family hailed the dismissal of the charges.

“We are glad that the government has finally decided to drop the charges against Sami Al-Arian. It has been a long and difficult 11 years for our family in what has ultimately been shown to be a political case. We are relieved that this ordeal finally appears to be at an end,” the family members said. “We hope that today’s events bring to a conclusion the government’s pursuit of Dr. Al-Arian and that he can finally be able to resume his life with his family in freedom.”

During the 1990s, Al-Arian came under suspicion in Florida over possible ties between a think tank he headed and figures in Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In a response to a Tampa Tribune series examining the issue, he denied any connection. After Jewish groups pressed for his removal at USF, professors’ groups complained that his academic freedom was being infringed.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Al-Arian was involved in a highly-publicized, confrontational interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who accused the professor of making anti-Israel statements and again raised questions about his think tank’s alleged ties to terror. Al-Arian received death threats after the on-air exchange and was suspended from the university.

In 2003, Al-Arian was indicted in Tampa on a wide array of charges, including racketeering, material support for terrorism and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors accused him of being the American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and said they had been able to bring the case only because legal changes in the Patriot Act allowed them to share intelligence information with criminal investigators.

His trial (and that of three co-defendants) was repeatedly delayed. It took place over a six-month period in 2005 and ended in acquittals on eight counts and a hung jury on nine other counts.

After prosecutors threatened a re-trial, the former professor pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding a designated terrorist group and was sentenced to 57 months in prison. He had already served most of that time in custody awaiting trial and thereafter. The plea deal also called for him to be deported from the U.S.

However, before Al-Arian was deported, federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., served him with a subpoena calling him before a grand jury to testify about Muslim groups in Virginia and their alleged ties to terrorism. Al-Arian said the subpoena was at odds with his plea deal in the Florida case, but prosecutors and the courts did not agree. He spent most of 2007 in jail on a civil contempt citation.

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