Sami al-Arian acquitted of aiding palestinian terrorists

A federal jury acquitted former Florida professor Sami al-Arian Tuesday of conspiring to aid a palestinian group in killing Israelis through suicide bombings. Al-Arian, 47, was found not guilty on eight of 17 counts, including conspiracy to maim or murder. Jurors deadlocked on the rest of the charges, including ones that he aided terrorists. The trial was a crucial test of government power under the USA Patriot Act, which lowered barriers that had prevented intelligence agencies from sharing secretly monitored communications with prosecutors. Tasia Scolinos, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said it stands by the charges and may retry al-Arian.

Al-Arian remains in jail. While prosecutors decide whether to retry him on the deadlocked charges, Pam McCullough, spokeswoman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said her agency is working with the Department of Homeland Security to deport Al-Arian, who is not a U.S. citizen.

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