Monday, October 13, 2014

Sami Omar Al-Hussayen Terrorism Case

Sami Omar Al-Hussayen Terrorism Case ---
tags: air incident, website, terrorism prosecution, deported, fundraising, suicide operations, Hamas, jihad, Idaho, student, Saudi, mideast suspect

March 2004 Sami Omar Al-Hussayen Terrorism Case Sami Omar Al Hussayen, a Saudi national and University of Idaho student, was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Hamas and other violent jihadists through his work at the Islamic Assembly of North America and Al-Haramain. He was webmaster for the Islamic Assembly of North America of Detroit that allegedly disseminated "radical Islamic ideology the purpose for which was indoctrination, recruitment of members, and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism." One posting advocated "suicide operations" that included "bringing down an airplane on an important location" before the 9-11 attacks. He also Funneled tens of thousands of dollars from sources within and outside the United States to the charities IANA and Help the Needy in Syracuse. Al Hussayen was acquitted in June 2004 on most counts, but the jury deadlocked on several immigration fraud counts. He was subsequently deported in lieu of the U.S. dropping the remaining criminal immigration fraud charges. Some view this case as an abuse of power by the Justice Department, and prosecuting free speech as terrorism.

*Timeline

September 11, 2000, al-Hussayen registered the Internet site www.alasr.ws, an Arabic-language, IANA-produced online magazine providing links to other IANA websites.

June 2001, alasr.ws carried an article by a Saudi-trained Kuwaiti cleric (Sheik Hamed al-Ali) titled, “Provision of Suicide Operations,” which stated: “The warrior must kill himself if he knows that this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies, and that he will not be able to kill them without killing himself first, or demolishing a center vital to the enemy or its military force. This can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses.” The Arabic-language version of this same site in June 2001 carried an article advocating suicide bombings against “unbelievers who have declared war against the Muslims.”

February 26, 2003, FBI agents arrived before dawn in unmarked vehicles at al-Hussayen's home to arrest him for several counts of visa fraud and making false statements.

In March 2004, Sami Omar Al Hussayen, a Saudi national and University of Idaho student, was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Hamas and other violent jihadists through his work at the Islamic Assembly of North America and Al-Haramain

His wife and three sons returned to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before him, and he was deported in July 2004

In his defense: Moorelaw: US v. Al Hussayen, Sami Omar
Moscow, ID
Hamas
[DID] In March 2004, Sami Omar Al Hussayen, a Saudi national and University of Idaho student, was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Hamas and other violent jihadists through his work at the Islamic Assembly of North America and Al-Haramain. Al Hussayen was acquitted in June 2004 on most counts, but the jury deadlocked on several immigration fraud counts. He was subsequently deported in lieu of the U.S. dropping the remaining criminal immigration fraud charges.

BACK
CASE DOCUMENTS
FBI Affidavit
Indictment

Superseding Indictment The prosecution of this man on these charges appears to have been an abuse of power by the Justice Department. As a society, we should be mindful of the statement by Benjamin Franklin to the effect that "he who gives up his freedom for security ends up with neither freedom nor security." In my humble opinion, we cannot win the "War On Terrorism" by killing and jailing those who disagree with us. It will be won, if it can be won, by the strength of our values and convictions. The United States is a powerful country as a result of a great many factors including our diversity and tolerance. The prosecution of this man appears to have violated some basic concepts associated with the founding and fundamental nature of our country.

*Reference

Sami Omar Al-Hussayen - Wikipedia Sami Omar Al-Hussayen Sami Omar Al-Hussayen (born 1973, Saudi Arabia), also known as Sami Al-Hussayen,[1] is a teacher at a technical college in Riyadh. As a Ph.D. graduate student in computer science at the University of Idaho in the United States, he was arrested and charged in 2003 by the United States with running websites as a webmaster that were linked to organizations that support terrorism. Al-Hussayen is one of the few people at the time to have been charged under a provision that has been described as "overly broad and vague."[2] He was also charged with immigration violations.[3]
U.S. v. Al-Hussayen is considered a landmark case for civil liberties, related to provisions of the USA Patriot Act in the United States. It was the first time that the government tried to use the material support statutes "to prosecute conduct that consisted almost exclusively of operating and maintaining websites."[4]
The Idaho senior US Senator and one of its Congressmen, both Republicans, had already proposed amendments to the Act because of their concerns about its effects on civil liberties.[2]
At an immigration hearing in 2003, the federal judge ordered Al-Hussayen deported. He was held in the United States to face terrorism and immigration charges, and was tried in 2004. He was acquitted that year of the three federal terrorism charges, which was considered a "stinging defeat" for the government;[5] he was also acquitted of three of eight immigration charges. The jury was deadlocked on the other immigration charges, and the judge called a mistrial.
Al-Hussayen accepted a deal, agreeing to deportation if the prosecutor dropped plans to retry him on the outstanding immigration charges. His wife and three sons returned to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before him, and he was deported in July 2004. He and his wife both work in Riyadh.


*Sources

Computer Student on Trial Over Muslim Web Site Work ...

  • www.nytimes.com/.../computer-student-on-trial-ov...

    The New York Times
    Apr 27, 2004 - Today, that graduate student, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, is on trial in a ...of Moscow, Idaho, and condemned the attacks as an affront to Islam.


  • Sami Omar Al-Hussayen - Discover the Networks

  • www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=663

    Former head of the University of Idaho's Muslim Students Association; Member of ... Born in Saudi Arabia in 1970, Sami Omar al-Hussayen is the son of a senior  ...

  • Al-Hussayen helped administer several Arabic-language websites (some of which were owned by, or affiliated with, IANA) rife with violent, anti-Western rhetoric and the writings of radical Muslim religious figures who encourage suicide bombings. One website al-Hussayen allegedly helped set up carried an article justifying the use of passenger airplanes as terror weapons. 

    On September 11, 2000, al-Hussayen registered the Internet site www.alasr.ws, an Arabic-language, IANA-produced online magazine providing links to other IANA websites. In June 2001, alasr.ws carried an article by a Saudi-trained Kuwaiti cleric (Sheik Hamed al-Ali) titled, “Provision of Suicide Operations,” which stated: “The warrior must kill himself if he knows that this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies, and that he will not be able to kill them without killing himself first, or demolishing a center vital to the enemy or its military force. This can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses.” The Arabic-language version of this same site in June 2001 carried an article advocating suicide bombings against “unbelievers who have declared war against the Muslims.”

    Al-Hussayen came to the attention of the FBI when the Bureau was contacted by an employee of a bank branch in Moscow, Idaho. After 9/11, the employee noticed an increase in deposits to al-Hussayen’s previously modest accounts and became suspicious. The FBI soon learned that al-Hussayen had communicated often with two radical clerics known as the “awakening sheiks” because of their ideological influence on young Arabs. The clerics -- Salman al-Ouda and Safar al-Hawali -- are widely recognized as intellectual godfathers of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network.

    On February 26, 2003, FBI agents arrived before dawn in unmarked vehicles at al-Hussayen's home to arrest him for several counts of visa fraud and making false statements. The visa fraud charges stemmed from the fact that al-Hussayen had knowingly failed to mention his affiliation with IANA on his visa application when he entered the United States; moreover, he had claimed on several visa applications that he wanted to come to the U.S. “solely” to study, when in fact he also took work as a webmaster for IANA. (Foreign students on student visas in the U.S. are not permitted to work for employers not situated on their campus). 

    Al-Hussayen allegedly raised at least $300,000 over five years for IANA. He used six bank accounts to collect and disburse the money and had extensive e-mail and telephone contact with the organization, the FBI said in court filings and testimony. About $100,000 of the money allegedly came in two installments from the student's uncle, Saleh Abdel Rahman al-Hussayen.

    In January 2004, Sami Omar al-Hussayen was charged with two counts of conspiracy to provide material support (via his computer skills) to terrorists. Two months later, he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Hamas -- through donation links on various websites that he allegedly maintained. He was also charged with eight immigration violations related to his aforementioned visa fraud. 

    Al-Hussayen’s trial began in April 2004 and lasted six weeks. He was acquitted in early June of the terrorism charges as well as three of the immigration violations. But the jury deadlocked on the remaining immigration charges -- all of which were dropped in exchange for the defendant’s agreement to be deported rather than go through a retrial. In July 2004 al-Hussayen was deported to Saudi Arabia, where he now lives with his wife and three sons. He currently works as an instructor at a technical university in Riyadh.



    Portions of this profile are adapted from the article titled, "MSA Figure Seized by FBI," written by Paul Barrett and published by FrontPageMagazine.com on May 29, 2003


  • [PDF]

  • U.S. v. Sami Omar al-Hussayen - FindLaw Legal News

    news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/usalhussyn304sind2.pdf

    SAMI OMAR AL-HUSSAYEN, provided and conspired with others to provide material ..... Idaho, and elsewhere, the defendant, SAMI OMAR AL-HUSSAYEN, did  ...






  • Idaho Arrest Puts Muslim Students Under U.S. Scrutiny ...

    online.wsj.com/articles/SB105406885465552500
    The Wall Street Journal
    MOSCOW, Idaho -- In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, Sami Omar al-Hussayen led fellow Muslims as they joined an emotion-charged candlelight march  ...






  • US v. Al Hussayen, Sami Omar :: The Investigative Project ...

    www.investigativeproject.org/case/153

    Investigative Project on Terrorism
    [DID] In March 2004, Sami Omar Al Hussayen, a Saudi national and University ofIdaho student, was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to  ...






  • imprisonment - Forejustice

    forejustice.org/wc/sami_omar_al-hussayen.html

    In February 2003 Sami Omar Al-Hussayen found out how federal prosecutors in Boise,Idaho answer that question. The native of Saudi Arabia had a student  ...






  • Jury Acquits Idaho Webmaster Charged With Terrorism For ...

    www.democracynow.org/.../jury_acquits_idaho_webm...

    Democracy Now!
    Jun 16, 2004 - In February 2003, the FBI raided the home of Saudi student at the University of IdahoSami Omar Al-Hussayen a 34 year-old Ph.D. candidate  ...Attorney David Cole examines a recent court ruling that he says marks one of the biggest defeats for the Justice Department regarding the Patriot Act to date. A Saudi graduate student was jailed for over a year and a half for designing websites that linked to sites with terror ties. Cole asks, could the New York Times be charged for linking to sites with terror ties?

    In February 2003, the FBI raided the home of Saudi student at the University of Idaho. Sami Omar Al-Hussayen a 34 year-old Ph.D. candidate who studied in the U.S. for nine years had volunteered his time to a Michigan-based group, the Islamic Assembly of North America, to set up a website that promoted the study of Islam.

    The website contained a link to another website set up by a group the U.S. government had listed as a terrorist organization. Another link pointed to a site that advocated suicide bombings in Israel and Chechnya.

    Al-Hussayen was arrested and charged with three counts of terrorism, four counts of making false statements, and seven counts of visa fraud. The terrorism charges against him were made under the Patriot Act and charged him with providing '’expert guidance or assistance'’ to groups deemed terrorist. 






  • United States of America v. Sami Omar Al-Hussayen

    www.morelaw.com/verdicts/case.asp?s=ID&d=28272Sami

    Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, age 34, was a Ph.D. computer science candidate at the University of Idaho. He was charged with multiple violations of The Patriot Act, ...Date: 06-11-2004

    Case Style: United States of America v. Sami Omar Al-Hussayen

    Case Number: Unknown

    Judge: Unknown

    Court: United States District Court for the District of Idaho

    Plaintiff's Attorney:

    United States District Attorney Tom Moss

    Defendant's Attorney:

    David Z. Nevin of Nevin, Benjamin & McKay, LLP, Boise, Idaho

    Description:

    Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, age 34, was a Ph.D. computer science candidate at the University of Idaho. He was charged with multiple violations of The Patriot Act, visa fraud and making false statements to federal investigators. The Government claimed that he used his computer skills to create websites designed to raise money and recruit terrorists. It also claimed that the websites he created published edits justifying suicide bombings and other terrorist acts.

    The defense claimed that Al-Hussayen had little to do with the content of the sites and had the right to express his views under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

    Outcome: He was found not guilty on the terrorism charges, on one count of makeing a false statement, and two counts of visa fraud. The jury hung on three false statement charges and five visa fraud charges.

    Plaintiff's Experts: Unknown

    Defendant's Experts: Unknown

    Comments: Editor's Note: The prosecution of this man on these charges appears to have been an abuse of power by the Justice Department. As a society, we should be mindful of the statement by Benjamin Franklin to the effect that "he who gives up his freedom for security ends up with neither freedom nor security." In my humble opinion, we cannot win the "War On Terrorism" by killing and jailing those who disagree with us. It will be won, if it can be won, by the strength of our values and convictions. The United States is a powerful country as a result of a great many factors including our diversity and tolerance. The prosecution of this man appears to have violated some basic concepts associated with the founding and fundamental nature of our country.






  • The Seattle Times: Local News: Idaho graduate student ...

    seattletimes.com/.../2001952936_webstudentacquitted1...

    The Seattle Times
    Jun 11, 2004 - BOISE, Idaho - University of Idaho graduate student Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, the bespectacled computer whiz at the center of a confrontation



  • Anti-terror forces arrest Idaho student
    By PAUL SHUKOVSKY, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
    Published 10:00 pm, Wednesday, February 26, 2003
    http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Anti-terror-forces-arrest-Idaho-student-1108447.php

     Had he revealed those activities, the government probably would not have given him a visa to remain in the United States.ed since his arrest in February 2003 that he was only volunteering his skills to the Michigan-based assembly to maintain its Web sites that promoted Islam. His defenders further argued that he had little to do with the creation of the material posted, and they said the material was protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of expression and was not designed to raise money or recruit militants.

    Among those activities:


    1. Operating Web sites for the Islamic Assembly of North America of Detroit that allegedly disseminated "radical Islamic ideology the purpose for which was indoctrination, recruitment of members, and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism." The assembly's telephone went unanswered yesterday.
    2. Operating a Web site that carried an article before Sept. 11, 2001, advocating "suicide operations" that included "bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses."
    3. Funneling tens of thousands of dollars from sources within and outside the United States to the charities IANA and Help the Needy in Syracuse.