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Webmaster cleared of Patriot Act terrorism charges

A Saudi graduate student was acquitted Thursday of charges that he used his computer expertise to foster terrorism. The case against Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, 34, was seen as an important test of a provision of the Patriot Act that makes it a crime to provide expert advice or assistance to terrorists. The jury reached its verdict after seven days of deliberations and a trial that lasted seven weeks. Al-Hussayen, a computer science student at the University of Idaho, was acquitted on all three terrorism counts, as well as one count of making a false statement and two counts of visa fraud. Jurors could not reach verdicts on three more false statement counts and five additional visa fraud counts, and a mistrial was declared on those charges. Al-Hussayen set up and ran Web sites that prosecutors say were used to recruit terrorists, raise money and disseminate inflammatory rhetoric.Full Story

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