Islamic Scholar Convicted of Exhorting Followers to Violence Against the U.S.

April 26, 2005

Source: Beliefnet

Wire Service: AP

On April 26, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "An Islamic scholar who prosecutors said enjoyed 'rock star' status among a group of young Muslim men in Virginia was convicted Tuesday of exhorting his followers in the days after Sept. 11 to join the Taliban and fight U.S. troops. The convictions against Ali al-Timimi, 41, carry a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison without parole. But the judge left open the possibility that she will toss out some of the counts. The jury reached its verdict after seven days of deliberations and convicted al-Timimi of all 10 counts. Prosecutors said the defendant - a native U.S. citizen who has an international following in some Muslim circles - wielded enormous influence among a group of young Muslim men in northern Virginia who played paintball games in 2000 and 2001 as a means of training for holy war around the globe. Five days after Sept. 11, al-Timimi addressed a small group of his followers in a secret meeting and warned that the attacks were a harbinger of a final apocalyptic battle between Muslims and non-believers. He said they were required as Muslims to defend the Taliban from a looming U.S. invasion, according to the government."