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Man accused of plotting to kill Bush

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0222BushPlot22-ON.html Man accused of plotting to kill Bush Associated Press Feb. 22, 2005 10:50 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2005
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      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0222BushPlot22-ON.html

      Man accused of plotting to kill Bush

      Associated Press
      Feb. 22, 2005 10:50 AM

      ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A former Virginia high school
      valedictorian who had been detained in Saudi Arabia as
      a suspected terrorist was charged Tuesday with
      conspiring to assassinate President Bush and with
      supporting the al-Qaida terrorist network.

      Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, a U.S. citizen, made an
      initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court but
      did not enter a plea. He contended he was tortured
      while detained in Saudi Arabia since June 2003 and
      offered through his lawyer to show the judge his
      scars.

      The federal indictment said that in 2002 and 2003 Abu
      Ali and an unidentified co-conspirator discussed plans
      for Abu Ali to assassinate Bush. They discussed two
      scenarios, the indictment said, one in which Abu Ali
      "would get close enough to the president to shoot him
      on the street" and, alternatively, "an operation in
      which Abu Ali would detonate a car bomb."
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      The White House had no comment on the indictment.

      Abu Ali was born in Houston and moved to Falls Church,
      Va., a Washington suburb. He was valedictorian of the
      Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Va.

      Federal prosecutors say Abu Ali joined an al-Qaida
      cell in Saudi Arabia in 2001. The alleged Bush plot
      occurred while he was studying in that country.

      His family contends that U.S. officials were behind
      his detention by Saudi authorities and wanted him held
      in that country so he could be tortured for
      information. A lawsuit brought on their behalf in U.S.
      District Court in Washington seeks to compel the
      government to disclose what it knows about Abu Ali and
      his detention.

      Abu Ali's appearance in federal court here was a
      surprise because the government never publicly
      disclosed that he had left Saudi Arabia.

      According to the indictment, Abu Ali obtained a
      religious blessing from another unidentified
      co-conspirator to assassinate the president. One of
      the unidentified co-conspirators in the plot is among
      19 people the Saudi government said in 2003 was
      seeking to launch terror attacks in that country,
      according to the indictment.

      More than 100 supporters of Abu Ali crowded the
      courtroom Tuesday and laughed when the charge was read
      aloud alleging that he conspired to assassinate Bush.

      When Abu Ali asked to speak, U.S. Magistrate Liam
      O'Grady suggested he consult with his attorney, Ashraf
      Nubani.

      "He was tortured," Nubani told the court. "He has the
      evidence on his back. He was whipped. He was
      handcuffed for days at a time."

      When Nubani offered to show the judge his back,
      O'Grady said that Abu Ali might be able to enter that
      as evidence on Thursday at a detention hearing.

      "I can assure you you will not suffer any torture or
      humiliation while in the (U.S.) marshals' custody,"
      O'Grady said.

      Abu Ali is charged with six counts and would face a
      maximum of 80 years in prison if convicted. The
      charges include conspiracy to provide material support
      to al-Qaida, providing material support to al-Qaida,
      conspiracy to provide support to terrorists, providing
      material support to terrorists and contributing
      service to al-Qaida.
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