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US Judge Refuses to Free Muslim Cleric's Aide

A U.S. judge on Friday refused to grant bail to an Arabic translator charged with trying to encourage violent acts on behalf of the Islamic Group, described as a terrorist organization by prosecutors. The defendant, Ahmed Abdel Sattar, had been a translator for radical Muslim cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is serving a life sentence for his role in a plot to bomb U.S. landmarks. Kenneth Paul, Sattar’s lawyer, asked U.S. District Judge John Koeltl to release Sattar on a $3 million bond and an order of home confinement. Koeltl declined, saying Sattar had a great incentive to flee, particularly as his Jan. 12 trial date grows closer. Sattar, a postal worker living in Staten Island, was jailed in April 2002 when he and Abdel-Rahman’s lawyer, Lynne Stewart, were indicted on charges they had helped Abdel-Rahman communicate with the Egypt-based Islamic Group from prison. Full Story

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