Palestinian activist, former professor deported to Turkey years after terror trial plea

A Palestinian activist who was a target of the Justice Department for more than a decade has been deported from the U.S. to Turkey.

Sami Al-Arian is a former University of South Florida professor arrested in 2003 on charges of playing a leadership role in the terrorist group Palestinian Jihad. He pleaded guilty in 2006 to reduced charges of conspiracy to provide, make or receive funds, goods or services for the benefit of a terrorist organization.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Al-Arian left the U.S. on a commercial flight Wednesday night.

After his release from prison in 2008, Al-Arian expected to be deported but was charged with criminal contempt for refusing to testify in another case in Virginia. That case was dropped last summer, setting up his deportation.