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Sami Al-Arian is Found Not Guilty Of Some Terrorist Charges In Tampa

Reported by Donna - December 6, 2005

I'm sitting here monitoring Studio B with Shepard Smith and a Fox News Alert comes on. Apparently Sami Al-Arian has been found 'Not Guilty' of some terrorism charges in Tampa, Florida. You all remember Sami Al-Arian, remember Bill O'Reilly boasting that he caught him? Here is a copy of the transcript between O'Reilly and Al Arian.

While Al-Arian was found not guilty on 8 of the 17 charges, the jurors were deadlocked on the remaining charges. He will return to jail to await hearing whether he will be retried or not.

From AP:

TAMPA, Fla. - A former Florida professor accused of helping lead a terrorist group that has carried out suicide bombings against Israel was acquitted on several charges Tuesday, and the jury deadlocked on the other counts.

The case against Sami Al-Arian, 47, had been seen as one of the biggest courtroom tests yet of the Patriot Act's expanded search-and-surveillance powers.

Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida computer engineering professor, wept after the verdicts, and his attorney, Linda Moreno hugged him. He will return to jail until prosecutors decide whether to retry him on the deadlocked charges.

Federal prosecutors said Sami Al-Arian and his co-defendants acted as the communications arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, spreading the word and raising money that went toward the suicide attacks that have killed hundreds.

He was considered one of the most important terrorist figures to be brought to trial in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. His indictment in 2003 was hailed by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft as one of the first triumphs of the Patriot Act, which was enacted in the weeks after Sept. 11.

Comment: Whatever happens you can expect to see a lot of this story on O'Reilly's show. Stay tuned.

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