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Man accused of plotting Bush assassination pleads not guilty

[JURIST] Abu Ali, a US citizen who allegedly joined al-Qaida while studying abroad in Saudi Arabia, pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of providing material aid to terrorists [DOJ indictment]. Ali, a former Virginia high school valedictorian, is accused of plotting to assassinate President Bush, in addition to providing support and funds to al-Qaida. An FBI agent testified that Ali admitted his guilt multiple times, but Ali's lawyers argue that the confessions were obtained through torture and that Ali has scars on his back from the beatings he endured while in Saudi custody. Ali was arrested by Saudi authorities in June of 2003, and was held in Riyadh for 20 months until he was returned to Virginia to stand trial. His trial is scheduled to begin on August 22 in federal court in Virginia. If convicted, he could face up to 80 years in prison. AP has more.

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