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Prof Accused of Terror Link in Contempt

Friday, November 17, 2006

TAMPA, Fla. —  A former college professor who pleaded guilty to aiding a Palestinian terrorist group has been found in contempt for refusing to testify before a Virginia grand jury.

Sami Al-Arian refused last month to answer questions about the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Va., which funded Al-Arian's Palestinian think tank in Tampa. He was found guilty of contempt Thursday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., and could serve up to one and a half years in prison.

Attorneys for the former University of South Florida professor had argued that the terms of his plea agreement freed him from further cooperation with the government.

Al-Arian's initial five-year sentence for aiding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad with nonviolence activities will be put on hold while he serves time on the contempt charge.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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