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.

Islamic Scholar Sentenced to Va. Prison (AP)

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.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paulie says:

    home-grown Muslim terrorists bombed the London subway

    FYI – The London subway that was bombed was in the United Kingdom–not London KY, London CA, London AR, or London OH. The British are saying that the perpetrators are most likely British citizens–not “home-grown” in al-Timimi’s country, the US.

    Ali al-Timimi’s case had nothing to do with the London bombing and Brinkema was charged with pronouncing a sentence based upon the facts in his case.

    Brinkema is generally a pretty fair judge,so it is highly doubtful that unrelated exogenous factors had anything to do with her sentincing.

  2. herb says:

    This terrorist is right where he belongs. Now, let’s see how long he last in the prison population.