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Judge refuses to dismiss Albany terror case despite alleged FBI entrapment

[JURIST] Two Muslim men accused of supporting terror will stand trial after a federal judge in New York state ruled Monday that there was enough evidence to pursue the case despite defendants' arguments that they had been entrapped by FBI agents. US District Judge Thomas McAvoy ruled that the entrapment evidence did not sufficiently outweigh the government's evidence linking them to the crime. He also refused to grant separate trials for the men, who have pleaded not guilty. Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain, both of Albany, were arrested in August 2004 and accused of laundering money for an FBI informant posing as an arms dealer. According to prosecutors, Aref, 35, the imam at Albany's Masjid as-Salam mosque [mosque website] and Hossain, 50, the mosque co-founder, allegedly accepted some $50,000 from an informant who told the defendants that the money came from the sale of a missile that would be used to kill a Pakistani diplomat in New York City. The men say they never believed the business deal was part of a terrorist plot. Aref remains in jail awaiting trial, but Hossain is free on bail [JURIST report]. Both men face life-sentences and fines as high as $7.25 million, if convicted. Review the criminal complaint against Hossain and Aref. AP has more.

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