VA Terrorist Serves Life in Prison

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A Virginia man will serve life in prison for joining Al-Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President Bush.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was originally sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2005. But an appeals court overturned that sentence, saying it was too lenient. On Monday, his prison term was extended to life.

Abu Ali was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in the Washington suburbs of Falls Church, Va. Al-Qaeda recruited and trained Abu Ali while he attended college in Saudi Arabia. He then discussed establishing a sleeper cell in the U.S. 

"I would like to remind you that you, too, will appear before the divine tribunal with me and everyone else," he said in a brief statement to U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. "That day there will be no lawyers. If you are comfortable with that, you can decree what you will."

Judge Lee said Monday that the new sentence shows that Abu Ali has never turned away from Al-Qaeda or terrorist activities, and that he could still prove a threat to the U.S. if he were released.

"There's no way to know what his mental state would be after 30 years of solitary confinement," Lee said.

Source: The Associated Press

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