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Pakistani anti-terror court convicts 5 Americans

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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SARGODHA, Pakistan – Five young American Muslims were convicted of plotting terrorist attacks and sentenced to 10 years in jail Thursday in a case that highlights concerns about Westerners traveling to Pakistan to link up with al-Qaida and other extremist groups.

Prosecutors said e-mail records, documents and witness statements proved the men from the Washington, D.C., area used the Internet to plot terror attacks in Pakistan and allied nations and meet militant organizations in the country. They sought life imprisonment for the defendants.

Defense lawyers said the evidence was faked and the men were innocent. They vowed to appeal.

The father of one of the men said they were in Pakistan to attend his son's wedding, but had also intended to cross into Afghanistan for humanitarian work. In November, family members in the United States informed authorities the men had gone to Pakistan after one left behind a farewell video showing scenes of war and casualties and saying Muslims must be defended.

The verdict comes just days after Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty to trying to bomb New York's Times Square in May after getting training by the Taliban in Pakistan's tribal areas. Several other so-called "homegrown terrorists" have been arrested over the last 18 months, highlighting what experts say is the vulnerability of a small number of Muslims living or growing up in the United States to militancy.

The judge handed down two prison terms for each man, one for 10 years on a criminal conspiracy charge, and the other for five years on the charge of funding banned organizations for terrorism. The terms are to be served concurrently.

The five were acquitted of three other charges, including planning to wage war against the U.S. and Afghanistan.

The trial was sensitive for the U.S., which is pushing Pakistan to crack down on militancy but has also complained about persistent anti-Americanism in the government, bureaucracy and media.

In letters tossed to journalists from a prison van, the men earlier claimed they were tortured by Pakistani police and FBI agents, charges denied by authorities here and the U.S.

The trial moved with unusual speed in a country where cases often drag out for years.

American officials have said little publicly about the trial. On Thursday, embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire said only that the U.S. respects the decision of Pakistani courts.

The men have been identified as Ramy Zamzam of Egyptian descent, Waqar Khan and Umar Farooq of Pakistani descent, and Aman Hassan Yemer and Ahmed Minni of Ethiopian descent.

Defense lawyer Hassan Dastghir said he was confident the conviction would be overturned. Terrorism charges are often thrown out by higher courts in Pakistan due to lack of evidence.

A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which put the men's families in contact with the FBI after they went missing, said Thursday it is evaluating the verdict.

Zahid Bukhari, president of the ICNA mosque in Alexandria, Virginia, where the young men worshipped, was disappointed in the verdict.

He said many mosque members have concerns about whether the men were treated fairly, given the fact that family members stepped forward to alert authorities after the men left the country.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100624/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_us_arrests


David & Lalai

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Filed: Country: United Kingdom
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Defense lawyer Hassan Dastghir said he was confident the conviction would be overturned. Terrorism charges are often thrown out by higher courts in Pakistan due to lack of evidence.

How convenient.


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Good. The more terrorists they catch the better.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Vietnam
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IMO this does send at a minimum some message to those wannabes in the US... :thumbs: they need to do more of the same..


"Every one of us bears within himself the possibilty of all passions, all destinies of life in all its forms. Nothing human is foreign to us" - Edward G. Robinson.

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