Ujaama Pleads Guilty in Seattle Terror Case

James Ujaama, arrested in Denver as a material witness, transported to Virginia, and then charged in Seattle with providing material aid to terrorists, has reached a plea bargain with the Government.

Ujaama pleaded guilty Monday to providing cash, computers and fighters to the Taliban. In exchange, he has agreed to cooperate against radical London cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri. He will receive a two year jail sentence. With credit for the time he has has spent in jail since July 22, he will serve about one more year after being sentenced.

Ujaama did not plead guilty to a terrorist offense. The Government can hardly call this a win. Ujaama was scheduled for trial in June. Even if convicted, the earliest he would have been sentenced would have been September or October--by which time he would have spent over a year in jail. All charges but one were dismissed against Ujaama--including the charge that he intended to set up a terrorist training camp near Bly, Ore. in 1999.

Ashcroft's reaction:
"An important part of our war against terrorism is to obtain the cooperation of insiders who have direct knowledge of the activities of dangerous terrorists," Attorney General John Ashcroft said. "We are pleased that Mr. Ujaama has agreed to plead guilty, accept responsibility for his criminal conduct, and cooperate fully regarding others engaged in criminal and terrorist activity both here and abroad," he said. "We expect his cooperation to lead to the arrest of additional terrorists and the disruption of future terrorist activity."
For our prior coverage on Ujaama, go here.

Update: The Seattle Times provides details of Ujaama's plea and cooperation, and says Ashcroft has given the "go ahead" to indict Abu Hamza al-Masri. Here's what Ujaama agreed he did:

Ujaama ran a Web site for Abu Hamza called the Supporters of Shariah. In court today he admitted that he "urged others to donate money, goods and services to Taliban-sponsored programs and to charitable programs in the territory of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban." Moreover, he escorted a man from the Finsbury Park mosque in London, where Abu Hamza had been the imam, to an al-Qaida terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.
Here's what the Government gets:
he has agreed to provide information to federal prosecutors, the U.S. military and foreign governments. He agreed to testify anywhere he is told to, including at the military detention camp in Guantánamo Bay. ...His agreement to cooperate will extend for as long as 10 years. If he breaks his agreement, the government can reinstate other terrorism charges, which carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison.
The testimony against Abu Hamza may not be of much use to the Government, however, as last week England stripped him of his English citizenship and ordered deported. He is originally from Egypt. Somehow, we don't see Egypt turning him over to the U.S. for prosecution in a military tribunal or federal trial.
< DynCorp's Rent-a-Cops May Head to Iraq | Bush Vetoes Syria War Plan >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: