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Final Arguments Start in Trial of 4 Arabs in Terrorism Case

Closing arguments began here today in the trial of four Arabs arrested after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Prosecutors said the four plotted terrorism, and the defense tried to cast doubt on the government’s case. “This is a cell, ladies and gentlemen, a terrorist cell, and they’re here in the United States,” Richard Convertino, an assistant United States attorney, said. “Don’t give these people another chance to make their plan effective.” Defense lawyers continued to try to raise doubts about the evidence and the crucial government witness, Youssef Hmimssa, a onetime associate of the defendants. “There was a rush to judgment,” James Thomas, the lawyer for a defendant, Ahmed Hannan, said. “Set aside fear and look at the evidence.” Richard Helfrick, a lawyer for another defendant, Karim Koubriti, compared the government’s scrutiny of Arabs since Sept. 11 to McCarthyism and the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans. Full Story

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