- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2003


A federal judge in Buffalo, N.Y., yesterday sentenced Sahim Alwan to 91/2 years in prison on a charge of providing material support to the al Qaeda terrorist organization.

Alwan was the last of six men sentenced in the case as part of a Lackawanna, N.Y.-based “sleeper cell.”

Alwan pleaded guilty to the material-support charge in April 2003. The other five defendants have all pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the government in its ongoing war on terrorism.

At his April plea, Alwan admitted that in April 2001, he agreed to attend a military-type training camp in Afghanistan, along with the five co-defendants, and that he knew, before leaving the United States, that he was going to train for jihad, or holy war.

The plea agreement said Alwan received money from two other men to defray costs associated with jihad training.

Alwan admitted that he and others traveled from Buffalo and eventually arrived in Quetta, Pakistan, where they stayed at a guest house believed to be associated with Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist group.

They then traveled to a guest house in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where Alwan saw anti-American videotapes and lectures.

On the fourth day at the guest house, Alwan admitted that he met bin Laden before traveling to the al Farooq training camp, also associated with bin Laden and al Qaeda.

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