[JURIST] Imam Fawaz Damra, former leader of Ohio's largest mosque, the Islamic Center of Cleveland [official website], has been deported to the West Bank via Jordan, US immigration officials announced Friday. Born in the Palestinian Authority, Damra was indicted [PDF text] in 2003 on charges of concealing ties to alleged terrorist groups when he applied for US citizenship; he was sentenced [JURIST report] in 2004 by an Ohio district court to two months in federal prison and four months of house arrest. Prosecutors also asked for a revocation of Damra's citizenship, but the judge did not rule on the issue at the time. He was arrested in Ohio in late 2005 as a threat to national security and agreed to deportation in January 2006 rather than face new charges of terrorist ties; the process was delayed [Plain Dealer report] as officials sought a nation to accept Damra.
A statement from Damra's wife, published on his personal website, indicated that Damra would not appeal the decision:
After spending many days and nights in prayer, Fawaz, putting his trust in God, made a decision not to further pursue his fight to stay in the United States. While consulting with our attorney, we realized that we could not fight for justice in a court that upholds unjust laws including new laws under the Patriot Act.AP has more. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has local coverage.