The professor of terror cops a plea

Among the professors profiled in David Horowitz’s new book The Professors, discussed here over the past few days among Paul, John, David Horowitz and me, is former University of South Florida Professor Sami al-Arian. I wrote a lot here about al-Arian’s prosecution, which followed promptly after the adoption of the PATRIOT Act and the removal of “the wall” between intelligence gathering and law enforcement. Al-Arian’s indictment was full of quotes from intercepted communications documenting al-Arian’s sickening leadership of the North American branch of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Last week came word that al-Arian had plead to a lesser offense related to the remaining charges on which a federal jury had hung following his trial. Today’s Tampa Tribune, which has provided excellent coverage of the charges and trial, reports: “Al-Arian admits his role in jihad.” Elaine Silvestrini writes:

When Sami Al-Arian denied raising funds for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, he now says he was lying.

The former University of South Florida professor has portrayed himself as a martyr to free speech, a victim of anti-Muslim sentiment and the nation’s war on terrorism. He maintained he supported only peaceful solutions to the problems in the Middle East.

But in court papers unsealed Monday, Al-Arian admitted he raised money for the Islamic Jihad and conspired to hide the identities of other members of the terrorist organization, including his brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar. He also admitted knowing “that the PIJ achieved its objectives by, among other means, acts of violence.”

U.S. District Judge James Moody on Monday approved a deal in which Al-Arian pleaded guilty to conspiring to help a terrorist organization. The plea was entered in a secret hearing Friday as part of an agreement that calls for Al-Arian to be deported after serving a prison sentence that amounts to a little more than time served.

At his blog, David Horowitz writes:

Terrorist Sami al-Arian has agreed to admit to conspiracy chages that he provided material support to a terrorist organization (he was actually its North American head) and will be deported. Will the Academic Freedom Committee of the AAUP, Ellen Schrecker, Joan Wallach Scott, the ACLU and Salon.com and the Nation magazine and other leftists including the Black Studies Department at Duke, who defended al-Arian and collaborated his organized campaigns to attack the Patriot Act and other national security measures, now apologize for aiding and abetting his homicidal war against Jews and his Fifth Column efforts in behalf of radical Islam’s war against the United States?

David answers: “We’ll see.” I answer: “No.”

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