Muslim Cleric Sentenced to Life in Prison
Ali al-Timimi, a Fairfax, Virginia (D.C. area) Muslim cleric convicted in May of terrorist activity, has been sentenced to life in prison.
A prominent U.S.-based Islamic scholar who exhorted his followers after the Sept. 11 attacks to join the Taliban and fight U.S. troops was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison. Ali al-Timimi of Fairfax was convicted in April of soliciting others to levy war against the United States, inducing others to aid the Taliban, and inducing others to use firearms in violation of federal law.
The cleric addressed the court for 10 minutes before his sentencing. “I will not admit guilt nor seek the court’s mercy. I do this simply because I am innocent,” al-Timimi said.
Prosecutors said the defendant, a native U.S. citizen who has an international following in some Muslim circles, wielded enormous influence among a group of young Muslim men in northern Virginia who played paintball games in 2000 and 2001. Authorities said they were training for holy war around the globe.
That his sentencing hearing came a week after home-grown Muslim terrorists bombed the London subway can not have helped his cause.