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Fighting terror

U.S. man guilty of aiding al-Qaida

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 15, 2003


SEATTLE -- James Ujaama, an American Muslim accused of backing al-Qaida, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to provide cash, computers and fighters to the Taliban, the former Afghan rulers who sheltered Osama bin Laden.

Under the plea agreement, Ujaama agreed to help federal prosecutors investigating radical London cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, according to the Associated Press, citing a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The AP said this could lead to an indictment against the cleric, who is considered a top terrorist recruiter in Europe.

Ujaama, 37, pleaded guilty to a single felony count. Other charges, including one accusing him of plotting to set up a terrorist camp in Oregon, were dropped.

Ujaama said in court that he accepted responsibility for his actions and knew they were wrong. As part of the deal, Ujaama will serve two years in prison.

Moussaoui trial not likely to be moved to military

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Justice Department said Monday that terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui's rights can be protected in a civilian court, signaling the government is not prepared to move the case to a military tribunal.

The department was responding to a warning from U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who said she was disturbed by the government's "shroud of secrecy" toward Moussaoui and questioned whether his case could proceed in a civilian court.

"The government is fully confident that the court will be able to try this case consistent with the demands of the law," the prosecutors said.

Moussaoui is the lone defendant in the United States charged as a conspirator with the Sept. 11 hijackers and could face the death penalty if convicted. He has admitted belonging to al-Qaida but denied he was part of the Sept. 11 plot.

Pakistan court convicts four in consulate bombing

KARACHI, Pakistan -- An antiterrorism court on Monday convicted four members of an outlawed Islamic militant group of orchestrating a truck bombing outside the U.S. consulate in Karachi last year that killed 12 Pakistanis.

Two defendants were sentenced to death by hanging; two were sentenced to life in prison.

The June 14 bombing, which also wounded 43 people, was one of several aimed at foreigners and Pakistan's Christian minority. It was believed to be retaliation for the government's alliance with the United States against al-Qaida.

Indonesia indicts cleric on treason charges

Prosecutors in Indonesia on Monday indicted a prominent Muslim cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir, on charges of treason and plotting to overthrow the Indonesian government and establish an Islamic state.

The government says Bashir, the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a radical Islamic organization, was involved in the bombings of several churches in Indonesia in December 2000 and in a plot to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Singapore a year later.

Monday's indictment marks a change in policy and attitude toward terrorism by Indonesia, which long denied that terrorism was a problem or that Jemaah Islamiyah even existed.

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