Judge Drops Contempt Citation Against Al-Arian, CAIR Applauds Decision


A federal judge has lifted a civil contempt citation against former U.S. professor and Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian. As a previous post has reported, the citation was issued over his refusal to testify about his ties to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an important organization in the U.S Muslim Brotherhood network. In 2005, a federal jury deadlocked on eight of nine charges related to aiding terrorists but Al-Arian pleased guilty to one count of supporting a Palestinian terrorist organization. Having already served most of his sentence, it was expected that Al-Arian would be released and deported this year but the ongoing contempt citation was preventing that from happening. Recent reports indicate that although the citation was removed and despite spending nearly a year jailed for his refusal to testify, Al-Arian will not be released immediately and has about four months left to serve on a 57-month criminal sentence stemming from his guilty plea. He spent two months on a hunger strike earlier this year to protest his treatment. IIIT was one of the Herndon, Virginia organizations that are sometimes referred to as the SAAR Network or SAFA Group that was raided by federal agencies in March 2002. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization that has championed Al-Arian throughout the years, applauded the decision to removed the contempt citation.

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