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BREAKING NEWS ~ Al-Arian sentenced to 18 months more in Florida terror case

[JURIST] A federal judge has sentenced former University of South Florida computer science professor Sami Al-Arian [advocacy website; JURIST report] to another 18 months in prison before being deported after Al-Arian pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in the terrorism case last month. US District Judge James S. Moody formally imposed the maximum penalty of 57 months, but credited Al-Arian with time already served since his 2003 arrest. Under his plea agreement [PDF text], Al-Arian pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad [CDI backgrounder] in violation of US law and agreed to be deported after serving his sentence, though it is not clear where Al-Arian will be sent.

Federal jurors acquitted Al-Arian [JURIST report] late last year of eight of the 17 terrorism-related charges with which he had been accused and could not reach a unanimous verdict on the rest. Al-Arian stood trial on 17 charges [charge sheet; JURIST report] relating to his alleged financing of terrorist activities in Israel. The outcome was a substantial blow to the federal government [JURIST report], which had heralded the trial as a win for the Patriot Act. AP has more.

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