Man found guilty in Bush assassination plot
Virginia jury convicts college student of conspiracy with al-Qaida

Updated: 3:17 p.m. ET Nov. 22, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - An Arab-American college student was convicted Tuesday of joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate President Bush.

The federal jury rejected Ahmed Omar Abu Ali’s claim that Saudi authorities whipped and tortured him to extract a false confession.

Abu Ali, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen born to a Jordanian father and raised in Falls Church, Va., could get life in prison on charges that include conspiracy to assassinate the president and providing support to al-Qaida.

Abu Ali told authorities shortly after his arrest at a Medina, Saudi Arabia, university in June 2003 that he joined al-Qaida and discussed various terrorist plots, including a plan to personally assassinate Bush and to establish himself as a leader of an al-Qaida cell in the United States.

But the defense countered that he was tortured by the Saudi security force known as the Mubahith.

The jury deliberated for 2½ days. Abu Ali swallowed hard before the verdict was read but otherwise showed little emotion.

A man was found guilty on Tuesday of conspiring with al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate President Bush.

A 12-member federal jury found Ahmed Abu Ali, 24, guilty of all nine charges of conspiring with and aiding al Qaida and conspiracy to kill Bush.

Abu Ali faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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