American Muslim Convicted of Urging Holy War on U.S.
An Islamic scholar who prosecutors said enjoyed Ã¢€œrock starÃ¢€ status among a group of young Muslim men in Virginia was convicted Tuesday of exhorting his followers in the days after Sept. 11 to join the Taliban and fight U.S. troops. The convictions against Ali al-Timimi, 41, carry a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison without parole. But the judge left open the possibility that she will toss out some of the counts. The jury reached its verdict after seven days of deliberations and convicted al-Timimi of all 10 counts
Prosecutors said the defendant Ã¢€” a native U.S. citizen who has an international following in some Muslim circles Ã¢€” wielded enormous influence among a group of young Muslim men in northern Virginia who played paintball games in 2000 and 2001 as a means of training for holy war around the globe. Five days after Sept. 11, al-Timimi addressed a small group of his followers in a secret meeting and warned that the attacks were a harbinger of a final apocalyptic battle between Muslims and non-believers. He said they were required as Muslims to defend the Taliban from a looming U.S. invasion, according to the government.
While nobody ever joined the Taliban, four of the defendantÃ¢€™s followers subsequently traveled to Pakistan in late September 2001 and trained with a militant group called Lashkar-e-Taiba. Three of them testified that their intention had been to use the training they received from the group to join the Taliban and fight in Afghanistan, and that it was al-TimimiÃ¢€™s speech that inspired them to do so.
Incredible. While I’m incredibly reluctant to apply the label “treason,” insisting on the narrow definition specified in the Constitution, this would seem to qualify.
Article III, Section 3, Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Taliban was clearly the enemy of the United States at the time in question.