Abu Ali :Son of Saudi embassy employee raised in U.S. sentenced to 30 years for plotting to kill Bush
March 30, 2006
Thu 30 Mar 2006
US-raised Muslim gets 30 years for plot to kill BushMATTHEW BARAKAT
AN AMERICAN Muslim was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in prison for joining al-Qaeda and plotting to assassinate the president, George Bush.
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a 25-year-old US citizen who was born to a Jordanian father and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, faced a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life behind bars.
He was convicted in November of conspiracy to assassinate the president, conspiracy to hijack aircraft and providing support to al-Qaeda, among other crimes.
Jurors in the three-week trial saw a videotaped confession Abu Ali gave to the Saudis in which he said he joined al-Qaeda because he hated the US for its support of Israel.
Notes taken by Saudi interrogators showed that he discussed numerous potential terrorist plots, but the one that most appealed to him was killing "the leader of the infidels" - Mr Bush.
Prosecutors had argued for a life sentence.
But US District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee said 30 years was sufficient punishment. He compared the Abu Ali case to "American Taleban" John Walker Lindh, who received a 20-year sentence.
Abu Ali's actions "did not result in one single actual victim. That fact must be taken into account," Mr Lee said.
Saudi authorities arrested Abu Ali in June 2003 as he was taking final exams at the Islamic University of Medina. Abu Ali confessed that he joined al-Qaeda while studying in Saudi Arabia and said he discussed with some of the most senior al-Qaeda members terror plots, including Mr Bush's assassination and plans to establish an al-Qaeda terror cell in the US.
Abu Ali claimed the Saudis had extracted a confession from him through torture, and he argued that the US was complicit in his torture by colluding with the Saudis.
• The first phase of the trial in Virginia against Zacarias Moussaoui is coming to a close as the jury retired to consider whether he carries the blame for at least one death on 9/11.
This article: http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=489362006