Muslim-American Indicted for Bush Assassination Plot (UPDATED)

American born Muslim goes to Saudi Arabia to study Islam. While there he becomes converted to Jihad. Joins al Qaeda. Plots to kill President Bush. For now his only defense has been that the Saudis tortured him and he is the victim of religious persecution. Typical.

His family had been circulating this petetion to free him from Saudi jails.

The full indictment can be read here.

UPDATE: From the indictment, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is charged with:

1) Conspiracy to provide material support and resources to foreign terrorist organizations (al Qaeda)

2) Providing material support and resources to foreign terrorist organizations (al Qaeda)

3) Conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

4) Providing material support to terrorists.

5) Contribution of services to al Qaeda.

6) Receipt of funds and services from al Qaeda.

Another Update from the indictment: Left out of the Fox News are several key things. For instance, Fox says that Ahmed Ali was found with "Audio tapes in Arabic promoting violent jihad and the killing of Jews". The actual indictment reads, "Audio tapes in Arabic promoting violent jihad, the killing of Jews, and a battle by Muslims against Christians and Jews."

Fox News:

An American citizen was charged Tuesday with conspiring to assassinate President Bush and with supporting Al Qaeda .

If convicted of all the charges, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison....

An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Alexandria on Feb. 3 was unsealed Tuesday. There are 10 alleged co-conspirators in the indictment.

Abu Ali faces six counts n the indictment: conspiracy to provide material support and resources to Al Qaeda; providing material support to Al Qaeda; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; providing material support to terrorists; contribution of services to Al Qaeda; and receipt of funds and services from Al Qaeda.

The federal indictment said that in 2002 and 2003 Abu Ali and an unidentified co-conspirator discussed plans for Abu Ali to assassinate Bush. They discussed two scenarios, the indictment said: one in which Abu Ali "would get close enough to the president to shoot him on the street" and, alternatively, "an operation in which Abu Ali would detonate a car bomb." ...

Abu Ali was born in Houston and later moved to Falls Church, Va., where he was valedictorian of his high school class. He allegedly went on to pursue religious studies in Saudi Arabia in 2000 and federal prosecutors say Abu Ali joined an Al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia in 2001. The alleged Bush plot occurred while he was studying in that country, the indictment says.

Sometime around September 2002, Abu Ali allegedly returned to Saudi Arabia (search) and told an unnamed co-conspirator that he was interested in joining Al Qaeda. The indictment alleges that Abu Ali intended to become a planner of terrorist operations like Muhammad Atta and Khalid Sheik Muhammad.

Abu Ali allegedly decided at one point to go to Afghanistan to take part in a violent jihad against American military personnel there. He applied for a visa to travel to Iran as a means to enter Afghanistan but his application was denied, according to the indictment.

Abu Ali also received money from another co-conspirator and Al Qaeda member to buy a laptop computer, a cell phone and books, the indictment says. Abu Ali is said to have purchased all the equipment.

At some point, this alleged Al Qaeda member who gave him the money discussed with Abu Ali establishing an Al Qaeda cell in the United States. Abu Ali received training in weapons, explosives and document forgery from Al Qaeda members, the indictment says.

According to the indictment, Abu Ali obtained a religious blessing from another unidentified co-conspirator to assassinate the president. One of the unidentified co-conspirators in the plot is among 19 people the Saudi government said in 2003 was seeking to launch terror attacks in that country, according to the indictment.

He was arrested in Saudi Arabia on June 9, 2003.

h/t: First Broken Angel

UPDATE: (via Charles Johnson) Not surprisingly, the Muslim American Society calls for his release. Would it be possible for Muslim groups to just once support the detention of a terrorist? MAS:

"We're deeply grateful to the Almighty for the return of Abu-Ali the United States of America," said Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray. "However, I am still greatly troubled and concerned about the manner in which our government has dealt with Abu Ali and his family.

"Nothing short of his release and return to his family is acceptable to us," stated Bray.

Update: In answer to Number 2 Pencils question. NY Times:
The Washington Post reported in 2003 that Mr. Ali was valedictorian of his 1999 high school class at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, where school officials described him as "an exceptional student," with special talent in mathematics and science.
UPDATE: Aylward notes this article which suggests his father might work for the Saudi Embassy. That would explain why he went to the Islamic Saudi Academy.

UPDATE: Andrew Cochran confirms Abu Ali's father worked for Saudi Embassy.

Another Update: From the Islamic Saudi Academy website. Here is a portion of their Mission Statement:

The Academy’s educational mission is threefold: 1) to develop all students in mind, body, and character enveloping Islamic values and the Arabic language and culture; 2) to prepare students for further education both in the United States and abroad; and to prepare them to be contributing and responsible citizens of the world.
From their About Us page:
Since its establishment, the Islamic Saudi Academy has viewed its relationship with the community and culture as vital to the mission of the school. ISA not only promotes respect and mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, Arabs and Americans while keeping within the Muslim faith, it strives for its staff and students to uphold tolerance, honesty, integrity and compassion, qualities that represent the best of both American and Arabic cultures.
They keep using that word tolerance, I do not think that word means what they think it means.

You'd think that the Valedictorian would have learned the core values of the school? Check out the rigorous course of studies and you might realize why the man turned out to be a jihadi:

The Islamic Studies Program is unique and comprehensive. It stresses Islamic culture, tradition, heritage, and identity. It challenges the students academically and fosters an atmosphere conducive to the development of Islamic morals, values and ideals. With this foundation, students will continually seek knowledge, think critically, and become active learners. The program prepares students for the challenges they will face as they proceed in their educational and professional careers.

The Islamic Saudi Academy believes that it is important for all students to learn Arabic. Arabic is the language of the Holy Qur'an and Muslims are expected to be well versed in it and fully aware of its usage. Fluency in Arabic keeps students in close contact with their Arab heritage and culture through written and oral communication. The Arabic language is becoming more and more popular in cultural, political and economic world events; moreover, it has become one the major languages used at the United Nations. In general, the Arabic program follows the curriculum, syllabus, and materials established by the Saudi Ministry of Education.

There is also a link to al-Islam with an entire section devoted to The Superiority of Jihad:
Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter, To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah - whether he is slain or gets victory - soon shall We give him a reward of great (value)....

Not equal are those Believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) hath Allah promised good: but those who strive and fight hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.

and on the Superiority of the Mujahadin:
And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.

Those who spend their substance in the cause of Allah, and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, for them their reward is with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Last Update: More on in this post 'Man Charged in Presidential Assassin Attending Radical Islamic School Supported by Saudi Government'

Others with a great deal more to tell: James Joyner, The Baron, Number 2 Pencil, In the Bullpen, Wizbang, Josh Poulson, White Pebble, Truth Quante-fied, Jane at Armies of Liberation, Joe Gandelman, Rob at Say Anything, The Political Teen, A little about everything, La Shawn Barber, Lorie Bird

Posted by: Rusty at 01:02 PM


It will be interesting to see what comes of this.
One can only hope that a case like this opens the
eyes of people. We as Americans had better get our
heads out of our asses! This is only the tip of the
iceburg. Rest assured theres lots more "Ahmeds" out


Posted by: MIGHTY WHITEY at February 22, 2005 03:09 PM

2 No shit! This is really getting scarey. I was of the "nuke em" brigade, but since these bastards are like roaches and are all over the world, what are we to do, nuke EVERONE????

What's the answer? I certainly don't know, but why all the ruckus after all these years? What started it? The hostage situation back in '79 during Carter's regime? Was that when they really started hating us?

Posted by: Laura at February 22, 2005 03:56 PM

3 Some folks were working to get this guy out of saudi jails. Good thing he's getting due process now.

Posted by: actus at February 22, 2005 05:30 PM


Posted by: GW Bush at February 22, 2005 06:38 PM

5 I thought the Saudis were our friends.

Wow, I'm confused.

Posted by: Preston Taylor Holmes at February 22, 2005 07:39 PM

6 I'll offer some educated opinion on a couple of your points.

It's highly unlikely that Ali is a Saudi--or his father a Saudi. If he had Saudi citizenship, there would be no question about his being extradited to the US, for several reasons:

1. Saudi Arabia does not extradite, to anywhere, any Saudi citizen
2. Were he Saudi, the US would be happy to let the Saudis deal with him exclusively, not letting this get before a jury that could turn out to be a crapshoot. The Saudis do not cotton to crimes of lesse majeste and deal with it harshly
3. Were he a dual national (American and Saudi) he would still be exclusively a Saudi by Saudi law, which does not recognize dual nationality. They would treat him accordingly.

My guess--and it's purely that--is that the Ali family is either Yemeni or Pakistani, based on the fact that those are the nationalities that are frequently found in Saudi embassies.

Your remarks about the Saudi Academy are largely correct, but dated. Most of the material, in fact, goes back to a Washington Post article in 2002. The Academy underwent a purge in 2003, getting rid of some very questionable characters. Saudi teachers there were stripped of their diplomatic immunity and several returned to Saudi Arabia in consequence. This was accompanied by the removal of "Religion Attachés from the Saudi Embassy. It also cleaned up its curriculum in 2004.

I suggest caution in citing the Saudi Institute as a reliable source on Saudi Arabia. They very much have their own political agenda which may or may not be what you have in mind. While they talk a good game about anti-terror, they tend to blend it in with their antipathy toward the Al-Saud and find a way to create links (in a Michael Moore-ish way) that don't actually exist.

Posted by: John B at February 22, 2005 10:21 PM

7 1) It is a matter of public record that the Father and Mother were both born in Saudi Arabia. The son was born in Houston and is an American citizen.

2) The son is now 23 and graduated long before any reforms were made at the school.

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford at February 22, 2005 10:36 PM

8 Ah, Saudi money and influence will get him off. Some public prosecutor (at the bottom of the barrel) will not be a match for what Saudi money can by. Example, O. J. Simpson.

Posted by: greyrooster at February 23, 2005 06:02 PM

9 I can see that Rusty thinks this guy will be hung out to dry. Never will happen. Money talks and justice walks. This guy will have his trial posponed over and over while changing high priced lawyer after high priced lawyer. All funded by our arab (friends). The courts will spend millions of dollars and then decide not to prosecute. The justice department will lose interest in time. The bloggers will lose interest. The public will lose interest. Eventually the charges will be lowered or completely dropped. HERO, he will be.
Want justice? 1-800-theklan. A cheaper, quicker alternative.

Posted by: greyrooster at February 25, 2005 04:51 AM

10 The Saudi's are and aren't and they do indeed need to be watched with something more than kid gloves.

You did a great job, Rusty.


Posted by: firstbrokenangel at February 25, 2005 10:14 PM

11 I'm just wondering why the father and son felt it was necessary to develop special code words.

Posted by: metapod at February 26, 2005 01:55 AM

12 metapod: Excellent!

Posted by: greyrooster at February 26, 2005 10:51 PM

13 His parents are not from Pakistan or Yemen.. not even close. Do you want to be an American idiot? Come to this site and believe everything and have the same ideology! And while you're at it, join the KKK with grey rooster.. yay, let's all be terrorists and kill innocent people because we have nothing better to do!!!

The Simpsons Rock!

...we live in a sad, sad world.. with sad, sad people...myself included. God bless us, every one.

Posted by: huh? at February 28, 2005 12:51 AM

14 huh: Was there any point relating to this issue in your post? If there was I missed it. What were you saying? That we should not punish those that plan to assasinate America's political leaders? If so thanks for the recruiting boost for the KKK.

Posted by: greyrooster at February 28, 2005 07:09 AM

15 "Whether in this world or in the Hereafter; our return will be to Allah; and the Transgressors will be companions of the HellFire!, soon you will remember what I say to you (now) I commit to Allah: for Allah(ever) watches over his Servants."

"Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, "when (will come) the help of Allah? Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!"

No matter what injustice you afflict on an innocent person, Rest assured that there is a Creator who will bring justice to all and hold everyone accountable....(see you then)

Posted by: random at March 01, 2005 08:29 PM

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