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Background on Palestinian USF professor arrested for terrorist ties

[JURIST] University of South Florida [official website] computer science professor Sami Al-Arian, a Kuwait-born Palestinian, was arrested early Thursday morning by federal agents according to news reports [USA Today story]. Al-Arian, who had already been placed on forced leave and banned from the USF campus for allegedly making pro-terrorist comments in the wake of September 11, had previously drawn the FBI's attention in connection with his organization of an Islamic think-tank at USF in the mid-1990s. Review a timeline of events in the Al-Arian controversy through USF's announcement in December 2001 of its intent to dismiss Professor Al-Arian, the transcript from the FOX News O'Reilly Factor TV program from September 26, 2001 that initially got Professor Al-Arian into trouble, university documentation leading up to USF's decision to terminate Al-Arian's employment (including a legal opinion on the University's right to take disciplinary action), the website created by the United Faculty of Florida faculty union in defense of Al-Arian's academic freedom, due process and tenure rights; legal documents from USF's recently dismissed case seeking to clarify its right to dismiss Professor Al-Arian, and an "Academic Free Speech" website hosting statements and op-eds by Professor Al-Arian.

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