Muslim Doctoral Student Charged With Maintaining Islamic Web Sites

May 2, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On May 2, 2004 The New York Times reported, "Graduate student, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, is on trial in a heavily guarded courtroom [in Moscow, Idaho], accused of plotting to aid and to maintain Islamic Web sites that promote jihad. As a Web master to several Islamic organizations, Mr. Hussayen helped to maintain Internet sites with links to groups that praised suicide bombings in Chechnya and in Israel. But he himself does not hold those views, his lawyers said. His role was like that of a technical editor, they said, arguing that he could not be held criminally liable for what others wrote. Civil libertarians say the case poses a landmark test of what people can do or whom they can associate with in the age of terror alerts. It is one of the few times anyone has been prosecuted under language in the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, which makes it a crime to provide 'expert guidance or assistance' to groups deemed terrorist."