DOJ says US student planned Bush assassination plot

[JURIST] Ahmed Omar Abu Ali [Wikipedia profile], an American student who was detained in Saudi Arabia, claims to be the mastermind behind the plot to kill President Bush [JURIST report], according to court papers released Monday. The US Department of Justice, who charged Abu Ali for his role in the plot and for his link to al-Qaeda [PDF indictment; JURIST report], said Monday that Abu Ali was trained to carry out attacks in the US on behalf of al-Qaeda. Abu Ali's lawyers argue that statements made to Saudi interrogators were only made after he had been tortured. The DOJ maintains that claims of torture have been fabricated. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled Monday that the Justice Department will be allowed to offer testimony from two Saudi officials who were involved in Abu Ali's interrogation. The two will to testify via a live video feed from Saudi Arabia using pseudonyms, because Saudi Arabia will not permit them to travel to the US to participate in the proceedings. Abu Ali is in custody in Virginia and faces life imprisonment if convicted of conspiracy to assassinate the president and attack US airliners. Tuesday's New York Times has more.

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