Cooperating Terror Defendant James Ujaama Sentenced to Time Served

Long time terror defendant James Ujaama was finally sentenced yesterday. For his cooperation, he received a sentence of time served.

I've been writing about him since his arrest in 2002. He was initially arrested in Denver as a material witness in a case in Virginia, and then charged in federal court in Washington with trying to set up an al Qaida traing camp in Bly, Oregon. (The terror camp that never was.) After being detained in Seattle, he agreed to cooperate and pleaded guilty in exchange for a 2 year sentence. But he fled to Belize before sentencing, probably to avoid having to testify against Abu Hamza, the AQ Sheikh with one eye and hooks for hands, or as he later testified in 2009, because he was no longer trusted and didn't fit in. [More...]

Here's what he agreed he did back in 2002:

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.

The website was located at stopamerica.org, according to the New York Times.

In 1999, Ujaama filmed a video. These were his view back then:

"Seattle terrorism suspect James Ujaama envisioned a perfect Islamic state, where believers could live separately from Christians and Jews, attend military training camps, and where homosexuality and pornography would be outlawed."

"The place: Afghanistan."

"There are many Muslims who have forgotten that the Jews and Christians are our enemies," Ujaama says in a 2-½-hour video obtained by The Seattle Times, small portions of which were recently revealed on the Internet."

Was he a terrorist, a hustler or an entrepreneur?

As a child, Mr. Ujaama worked at food banks and social service centers in Seattle, helping his mother, Peggy Thompson. As a young man, he established a computer business, sold pamphlets encouraging young blacks to stay off drugs and succeed through the American dream, and was a motivational speaker. A state legislator, Jesse Wineberry, once issued a citation declaring a statewide day of recognition for Mr. Ujaama."

In denying bail for Mr. Ujaama this week, the Judge said, "His background is exemplary. But people change. And the record suggests some drastic and tragic changes for Mr. Ujaama."

After being caught in Belize, he was charged in 2007 with serious terror crimes in New York. Again he agreed to cooperate and plead guilty. This time he testified, against Oussama Kassir in 2009 and and Abu Hamza in 2014. Both were convicted and sentenced to life. Both are at Supermax, according to the Bureau of Prisons. Abu Hamza has reportedly sent out a letter describing his abysmal treatment -- not only is he in solitary, but BOP has refused to allow him prosthetic limbs. (He must not be subject to SAMS.)

A third defendant, Haroon Aswat, who is mentally ill, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years last week. The judge ordered BOP to provide him with psychiatric care. He has suffered from schizophrenia for 20 years.

The Bly, Oregon terror camp wasn't much of a terror camp. Ujaama wasn't much of a terrorist. Despite his warped views, which he said in 2009 that he no longer holds, the Government has owned him since 2002. It's about time his case is over.

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