Defense in treason case seeks info on whether al-Awlaki was once a US informant

Lawyers for a Muslim scholar convicted in 2005 of soliciting treason are pressing a judge and prosecutors for information they believe could show that American-born al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki was once a government informant.

Ali Al-Timimi was spiritual leader for a group of northern Virginia Muslims who played paintball to train for holy war. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for exhorting some of them to join the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Al-Timimi's lawyers said Friday in federal court in Alexandria they are suspicious about a 2002 visit al-Awlaki paid to al-Timimi. The defense now suspects al-Awlaki went there as an informant to get incriminating information on al-Timimi, and that should have been disclosed at trial.

Prosecutors say they've turned over everything required of them.