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American Scene: Convictions upheld for 3 in terrorism case

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 23, 2012

OHIO

Convictions upheld for 3 in terrorism case

CINCINNATI | A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the convictions and sentences of three men found guilty in Ohio of recruiting and training terrorists to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati turned down 10 issues on appeal in the Toledo case involving Mohammad Amawi, Marwan El-Hindi and Wassim Mazloum.

The men were found guilty in 2009 of conspiring to kill or maim people outside the U.S., including military personnel. Amawi and El-Hindi also were convicted of distributing information regarding explosives to terrorists.

The FBI said the men met in Toledo about eight years ago and began plotting and training to help insurgents in Iraq. Defense attorneys argued that the men were set up by a paid undercover FBI informant.

Amawi, El-Hindi and Mazloum were appealing on a number of issues, including a lower court's decision that turned down their request for an acquittal and dismissal of their indictment based on the informant's conduct, which they said included creating a "terrorist cell" for the men.

Prosecutors were appealing the men's sentences, arguing that they should have gotten life in prison.

Amawi was sentenced to 20 years in prison, El-Hindi 12 years and Mazloum eight years.

GEORGIA

Foreclosure looming for Morris Brown College

ATLANTA | One of the nation's oldest black colleges is facing foreclosure next month, and an auction of assets is set for Sept. 4.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that enrollment at Morris Brown College in Atlanta is down to about 50 students. In the past, the university has served more than 3,000 students.

Officials said the college is facing foreclosure after investors called $13 million worth of bonds tied to the college.

Former Atlanta City Councilman and Morris Brown graduate Derrick Boazman called the development "heartbreaking."

The school is planning a prayer vigil Saturday, where plans to move the school forward will be discussed.

CALIFORNIA

Campus senior events deemed offensive to Hispanics

ANAHEIM | A Southern California high school has canceled senior week "Seniores" and "Senoritas" events after deciding students dressed as gang members, Border Patrol agents and a pregnant female pushing a stroller were offensive.

The Los Angeles Times said the June events have been staged for at least three years at Anaheim's Canyon High School. They were approved by campus administrators.

During the event two months ago, two boys dressed as a gardener and the female pushing the baby stroller. Other students dressed as Border Patrol agents and gang members with bandanas. Some students wore sombreros and fake mustaches.

Complaints by two former students led to an Orange Unified School District investigation that determined the events were demeaning toward Hispanics.

The district says school administrators will undergo diversity and sensitivity training.

GEORGIA

Widow charged in husband's death free on bond

DECATUR | A widow charged in her husband's slaying outside a suburban Atlanta preschool has been released from jail to live under house arrest with her parents after posting bond, authorities said.

Andrea Sneiderman met the conditions of the $500,000 bond Thursday morning and was released from the DeKalb County jail shortly after noon.

Mrs. Sneiderman was indicted Aug. 2 on charges of malice murder and criminal attempt to commit murder in the Nov. 18, 2010, killing of her husband, Russell Sneiderman. He was gunned down shortly after dropping off the couple's son at the preschool.

Mrs. Sneiderman maintains that she is innocent and denied knowing anything about the shooting. Her attorney, Tom Clegg, said they expect her to be exonerated at trial.

Prosecutors allege Andrea Sneiderman was having an affair with the gunman, Hemy Neuman, who also was her boss, and conspired with him to kill her husband in part to collect $2 million in life insurance policies. She has denied an affair.

Neuman was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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