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Sami Al-Arian

Former professor guilty of immigration charges

The former University of Central Florida professor helped Sami Al-Arian found a group suspected of terror ties.

By Associated Press
Published August 16, 2003

ORLANDO - A former University of Central Florida professor pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he lied on immigration forms in the 1990s.

As a Tampa student in 1988, Hussam Jubara helped Sami Al-Arian found the Islamic Concern Project, which federal prosecutors have characterized as a front for a Palestinian terrorist group. Jubara stayed with the organization until 1995, when federal agents closed it down.

Jubara, 43, faces a reduced sentence of several months in federal prison instead of the maximum five-year penalty he could receive on four counts of making false statements. He will be sentenced within three months.

His attorney, Tom Dale, said Jubara could be sentenced to time already served at the Orange and Seminole county jails. Jubara's guilty plea allows him to forgo a lengthy trial and speed up his deportation.

Jubara told U.S. Magistrate David Baker he was awaiting arrangements to be deported to Jordan once he serves his sentence. He's been in jail since May 21.

Jubara was charged with making false statements several years ago to what was then the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. An affidavit also accuses him of underreporting his income in 1995 and 1996.

"I failed to disclose I had a previous marriage for a short time," Jubara told Baker. "Yes. This was a lack of judgment on my part."

Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor, was indicted this year in Tampa on racketeering and terrorism-related charges.

Jubara, a real estate agent with a wife and five children, taught part-time at the University of Central Florida for the past three years. UCF did not renew his contract this summer.

[Last modified August 16, 2003, 01:47:29]

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