Last Friday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, long considered one of the most conservative courts in the the nation, rejected the appeal of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was sentenced in 2005 for conspiracy to assassinate President Bush and make other terror attacks upon U.S. targets on behalf of Al Qaeda. Abu Ali, who is a U.S. citizen and the son of naturalized Jordanian parents, was arrested in June 2003 in Saudi Arabia and held there until the U.S. requested his extradition almost two years later. He was 23 years old and attending a Saudi university at the time of his arrest.
During his incarceration, the Saudis refused his repeated requests to see an attorney. At no time has Abu Ali ever been linked to an actual terrorist event or action. In 2003, the government secretly broke into his parents’ home, utilizing provisions of the U.S.A. Patriot Act that allows warrantless search and seizure to go fishing for evidence of Abu Ali’s “dangerousness.”