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Feds Suffer Another Blow in Yemini Sheik's Terror Trial

The federal judge presiding over the terror trial of accused Yemeni sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad suffered a big blow Tuesday:

The ruling, which created palpable anxiety among the prosecutors, said the prosecutors cannot show jurors an application of a mujahedeen fighter for entry into an Al Qaeda training camp. The prosecutors said the application, found in Afghanistan in 2001, listed Sheik Moayad as the fighter's sponsor. The ruling also stopped prosecutors from introducing into evidence address books taken from two Muslim fighters in Bosnia in 1996. The prosecutors said the books included entries for Sheik Moayad.

Judge Johnson said that "we don't know what the source" of the Al Qaeda application was and that the address books were from a time too remote from the alleged fund-raising by the sheik in 2003. Judge Johnson said they dated back to before Al Qaeda was listed as a terrorist organization by the United States government.

The third item he banned during the prosecution's initial presentation was a videotape of a wedding in Yemen that the prosecutors said included images of Sheik Moayad cheering about the death of Jews in a Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.

Focusing on a central vulnerability for the prosecutors, Judge Johnson noted that the videotape was taken by the prosecution's main informer, Mohamed Alanssi. Mr. Alanssi drew attention to a history that included bad debts and legal troubles when he set himself on fire outside the White House in November.

After that act, the prosecutors suggested they would not call Mr. Alanssi as a witness. Yesterday, Judge Johnson said the prosecutors could not show the wedding videotape unless Mr. Alanssi testified.

We predicted here that this would be another case that bites the dust. Ashcroft's legacy continues.

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  • et al - Now we know why due process, as we understand it in the US, doesn't work well. In these situations.

    So, is he a supporter of terrorism or not? While I find the evidence dubious at best, you seem more elated at finding fault with Ashcroft than you do in wondering if you are supporting a terrorist or not. I'm all for due process and constitutional protections, but as a citizen I can't help but wonder if he is a terrorist. TL, do you care???

    et al - Hard to keep an evidence chain pure over half the globe and 20 years, eh? This was so easy to foresee that a blind man could have forecasted it. And note the little technical twist: "Judge Johnson said they dated back to before Al Qaeda was listed as a terrorist organization by the United States government." So, since we didn't know what to call'em.... we'll just ignore'em. Hey, works for OBL.

    Does anyone think it is strange that Al Qaeda has applications? I mean, it 's not like they are applying for a job at Burger King or something. Do they have to provide references? Past terrorism experience? Is this normal for most terrorist organizations?

    DA - Given that France has surrendered, why wouldn't they be well treated. The whole thing was just a mix up. As for their comments about Bush, they couldn't have been any harsher than what I have read right here. But let's wander back towards the topic. I would like for someone to tell me how you could every keep a chain of evidence pure in situations like this. And given that, is providing standard US justice a mockery?

    DA - I see you didn't answer the question, just made another attack. Ho-hum. "But let's wander back towards the topic. I would like for someone to tell me how you could every keep a chain of evidence pure in situations like this. And given that, is providing standard US justice a mockery?" Cat got your tongue?

    oops Above by me.