BOISE, Idaho – Jurors completed their first day of deliberations Wednesday without reaching a verdict in the case of a University of Idaho (search) graduate student accused of fostering terrorism on the Internet.
The jury must decide whether Sami Omar Al-Hussayen (search) was exercising his right to free speech or breaking the law when he lent his Internet skills to Web sites the government claims promoted terrorism.
Prosecutors have argued that the 34-year-old Saudi Arabian graduate student turned Web sites of the Islamic Assembly of North America (search) into an Internet network providing information to support terrorism, particularly in the Middle East and Chechnya. He faces three terrorism charges.
Al-Hussayen's defense has maintained that his association with the Web sites was as a Muslim volunteer and computer expert who simply wanted to keep the sites in operation.