Igår var en dålig dag för Oussama Kassir, svensken som säger att han äskar Bin Ladin och sitter inlåst i Tjeckien i väntan på utlämningsbeslut till det amerikanska rättsväsendet. Kassir står under åtal i USA för att ha försökt upprätta ett al Qaida-träningsläger i Bly, Oregon, och igår erkände hans kompis James Ujaama. Det komiska är att Ujaama tidigare beviljats åtalsunderlåtelse och strafflindring om han vittnade mot kollegorna, något han sedermera sumpade genom att fly landet, varför Ujaama nu kommer att straffas fullt ut.
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The new charges are a stark turnaround for Ujaama, who pleaded guilty in 2003 to a lesser charge of conspiring to aid the outlaw Taliban government in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. Federal officials have called Ujaama's help crucial in the 2004 indictment of Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri on charges of trying to establish the training camp and providing aid to al-Qaida.
In exchange for the two-year prison sentence, which he completed in 2005, Ujaama agreed to testify against several high-profile alleged terrorism supporters, including al-Masri and at least two of al-Masri's alleged henchmen, Oussama Kassir and Haroon Rashid Aswat.
Aswat has been questioned about the July 7, 2005, London subway and bus bombings that killed 56. All three men have been indicted in the U.S. in connection with the Bly training-camp plot.
Ujaama fled the U.S. with a fake Mexican passport on Dec. 5 of last year.
He was arrested outside a mosque in Belize on Dec. 18 after a scuffle with local police. Belize authorities said they were alerted by the international police agency Interpol that Ujaama was in the country.
Ujaama was returned to Seattle, and in February U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein sentenced him to two years in prison for violating the terms of his supervised release.
"You violated the trust I put in you," Rothstein told Ujaama.
By violating the 2003 plea agreement, Ujaama paved the way for the government to reinstate the much heftier terrorism charges it previously had dropped.