US man jailed for terror funding

Moroccan-born bookstore owner sentenced to 13 years after being caught on tape.

    Jose Padilla went on trial for supporting
    terrorism on Monday [AP]
    The musician, Tarik Shah, and the taxi driver, Mahmud Faruq Brent Al Mutazzim, have pleaded guilty to agreeing to provide material support to terrorist organisations and are awaiting sentencing.
    The doctor, Rafiq Abdus Sabir, is scheduled to go to trial next week on charges of agreeing to treat fighters in Saudi Arabia.
    US District Judge Loretta Preska did not reduce the sentence from what the government and Farhane had agreed upon when he pleaded guilty.
    "The message sent is a message of hate. My father was a person who really cared about this country"

    Asmaa Farhane, daughter of Abdulrahman Farhane

    She said Farhane had shown "perhaps less remorse" than she had seen in other cases, and he had admitted crimes that congress has designated for severe punishment.
    Outside court, several of Farhane's six children complained that the sentence was harsh, saying the government had taken advantage of their father's depression and difficulty focusing on conversations to capture him on audio tapes speaking with an informant as he conducted business with other customers at his bookstore in Brooklyn, New York.
    His daughter, Asmaa Farhane, 25, said of the sentence: "The message sent is a message of hate. My father was a person who really cared about this country."
    Before he was sentenced, Farhane said he was sorry. "I love America," he told the judge.
    Farhane, who was born in Morocco, went to the US in 1987 and became a citizen.
    The prosecution was based on conversations taped by the FBI in Farhane's bookstore in December 2001.
    Farhane's lawyer, Michael Hueston, said outside court that the government informant in the case caught his client's attention by speaking about the need for foreign organisations to raise money to give people clothing and equipment.
    "Dirty bomb" suspect
    Seperately on Monday, Jose Padilla, accused of plotting to detonate a "dirty bomb", went on trial on a lesser charge of supporting terrorism.
    Padilla was previously designated as an "enemy combatant" and held without charge in a military jail for 3-1/2 years.
    He and his co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi, are accused of providing money and recruits to Islamist extremists and conspiring to murder, kidnap and maim people in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia and other foreign nations.
    They face life in prison if convicted.
    US District Judge Marcia Cooke instructed prosecutors on Monday to avoid drawing any links between the trio of defendants and the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.
    The original allegation that he was planning to explode a radioactive "dirty bomb" - announced by the Bush administration - never made it into the charges when Padilla was suddenly transferred into civilian custody.
    Padilla says he was tortured while he was held in the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina.
    His lawyers said the abuse included isolation, prolonged sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme cold and shackling in "stress positions" for prolonged periods.
    They also said he was threatened with execution and drugged during repeated interrogations.
    Prosecutors deny that Padilla was abused in any way.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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