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Student charged with supporting terrorism

A Saudi graduate student in computer science was indicted Friday in Idaho on charges that he supplied his expertise to terrorist groups.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Saudi graduate student at the University of Idaho was indicted Friday on charges that he supplied his computer expertise to terrorist groups.

Prosecutors said the man, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, 33, put together Web sites to recruit members and raise money for Muslim terrorist activities. He was charged with providing material support to terrorism.

The indictment came less than two weeks before Al-Hussayen was set to go on trial on visa fraud charges brought against him last February. He has been in jail since then.

His arraignment on the new 24-page indictment, which incorporated the original 11 fraud charges, was set for Monday.

U.S. Attorney Tom Moss said Al-Hussayen, a graduate student in computer science, knew his computer services and expertise in behalf of two Islamic organizations would be used “to recruit and to raise funds for violent holy war, or jihad, in Israel, Chechnya and elsewhere, which have involved destruction of property, kidnapping, maiming and murder.”

David Nevin, Al-Hussayen’s attorney, said he would plead not guilty.

“Sami is not guilty of committing these offenses,” Nevin said. “I don’t see anything that wasn’t available to them long ago. I think they have stalled this off to avoid going ahead with their trial.”

Al-Hussayen has already been found to be eligible for deportation back to his home in Saudi Arabia, but was detained for the Jan. 20 trial. His wife and children are under an immigration order to leave the country by March 6.