Trial for Muslim terror suspects is 'test for justice'
The three men were legal immigrants, Muslims from Algeria and Morocco whose dingy apartment here was raided six days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks only because its former occupant was wanted for questioning in the terrorism investigation. But federal prosecutors say it wasn’t just the men’s luck that was bad. In a trial that begins today with jury selection, prosecutors are expected to argue that the three men, and a fourth Moroccan immigrant arrested later, were a ”sleeper” cell of radical Muslims formed to support future terrorist attacks in the USA and abroad. Forged immigration papers and other documents that U.S. agents found in the apartment link the men to a worldwide jihad, or holy war, against Jews and Christians, papers filed by prosecutors say. The trial of Karim Koubriti, Ahmed Hannan, Farouk Ali-Haimoud and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi has huge significance for the legal phase of the government’s war on terrorism. It is the first post-9/11 terrorism case to come to trial, and the U.S. government’s first attempt since then to try suspects for providing ”material support” for future acts of terrorism, rather than for having taken part in an actual attack. Full Story