April 20, 2006
Four months after a jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges of abetting terrorism (see Dec. 7), former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian has reached a plea bargain, confessing to one count, under which he will accept deportation from the United States. This represents nothing more than a token victory for Federal prosecutors, who may have gotten carried away with the original charges. Al-Arian had long proclaimed he was the innocent victim of a political witch-hunt, and was a cause célèbre among certain (misguided) civil rights activists. According to the Tampa Tribune (via Instapundit),
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."
It is not known where al-Arian will go now. He is a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian, and because he abused his freedoms in this country to become an activist on behalf of violent extremists, he is now more than ever a man without a country.