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Questions Raised Over Indictment of Virginia in Bush Assassination Plot

HeadlineFeb 23, 2005

In Virginia, federal prosecutors have accused a 23-year-old U.S. citizen of plotting the of assassinating President Bush with members of Al Qaeda two years ago while he was studying in Saudi Arabia. The man, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, had been jailed for over 20 months in Saudi Arabia where he was reportedly tortured Until Tuesday no charges had been filed against him. Law enforcement sources said the plot against Bush never advanced beyond the talking stage. One source involved in the case told the Washington Post that the U.S. government had hoped Saudi Arabia would bring charges against Abu Ali, in part because of the lack of evidence linking him to any al Qaeda activities. According to the Washington Post this is the first case in which the U.S. government would have to rely, in part, on information gathered solely by a foreign government. Abu Ali’s attorney Edward MacMahon’s said the allegations of torture promise to play a role as the case progresses. According to the Washington Post, Abu Ali is not charged directly with plotting to kill Bush but the allegation is part of a broader indictment that includes conspiracy charges. Outside the courtroom, Abu Ali’s mother accused the Bush administration of spreading lies about her son. If convicted of all charges, Abu Ali faces up to 80 years in prison.

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