The fate of al-Arian nation

The indictment and conviction of attorney Lynne Stewart represented a milestone in the domestic component of the war on terrorism. The outcome of the trial of former University of South Florida Professor Sami al-Arian that commenced this past Monday in Tampa will provide another marker in the status of the war on the home front.
The government’s 120-page indictment of al-Arian is astounding. Al-Arian was the North American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was under surveillance for ten years before he was indicted, and his communications with his colleagues are quoted throughout the indictment. The indictment itself provides an education in the modus operandi of terrorist groups such as PIJ. Yet until the reforms effected by the Patriot Act, the government was unable to act against al-Arian based on the intelligence it had gathered.
Tampa Bay Online has devoted an excellent special report page to the case, including links to the Tampa Tribune’s current daily stories and to court documents. Michelle Malkin noted the commencement of the trial and included a set of informative links in “Sami al-Arian on trial…and a few words about the GOP.” Looking back through our many posts referring to al-Arian, I find that one of the best columns we have linked to was Erick Stackelbeck’s May 2003 FrontPage backgrounder: “Embedded terrorist.”

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