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Terrorism Suspect Sami Al-Arian Freed After 5 Years

Wednesday, 03 Sep 2008 04:27 PM

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former Florida professor once accused of being a leading Palestinian terrorist has been released for the first time in more than five years.

Immigration authorities released Sami Al-Arian on Tuesday. They were holding him for refusing to testify before a grand jury about a cluster of Muslim organizations in northern Virginia.

The former University of South Florida professor has been in immigration custody since finishing a sentence on separate charges. He had been accused of being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but he was acquitted on many of those charges and a jury deadlocked on others. He eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

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