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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

American Al-Qaeda gets life in prison for Bush plot

Rendition & Tortured Confessions: The Appalling Case of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali

US national Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was sentenced to life in prison Monday for joining an Al-Qaeda plot to assassinate then-president George W. Bush, court officials said.

The sentence against Abu Ali, read out by Judge Gerald Bruce in an Alexandria, Virginia courtroom, replaced a previous 30-year-sentence handed down in 2006, but later overturned by an appeals court as too "lenient."

One of Abu Ali's attorneys, Ashraf Nubani, told AFP that his client "will be pursuing an appeal in the hope that justice will prevail."

Abu Ali, 28, was born and educated in the United States. He was convicted in late 2005 on six charges, including providing material support to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Prosecutors specifically alleged that Abu Ali plotted with an accomplice to assassinate the former president, either by shooting him, planting a car bomb targeting the leader or carrying out a suicide bomb attack.

Abu Ali was arrested in 2003 by authorities in Medina, Saudi Arabia, where he had been studying theology for several months.

He was held in Saudi jails for two years before being extradited to the United States and his lawyers have said he was abused by authorities there.

"He continues to maintain his innocence and that he was tortured. He and his supporters are convinced that one day he will be vindicated," Nubani told AFP.