- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2003

A federal grand jury in New York returned a superseding indictment adding new charges against a civil rights lawyer accused of helping a jailed terrorist deliver messages to his followers, Attorney General John Ashcroft said yesterday.

The new charges against lawyer Lynne Stewart, along with Arabic translator Mohammed Yousry and U.S. postal worker Ahmed Abdel Sattar, were filed after U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl dismissed charges they had provided material support to terrorists.

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Judge Koeltl said prosecutors had applied an antiterrorism law in a way that was unconstitutionally vague.

The new accusations said Mr. Sattar conspired with Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman to kill and kidnap people in a foreign country, and that Miss Stewart and Mr. Yousry provided and concealed support to terrorists by “making imprisoned Abdel-Rahman available as personnel” to the conspiracy to kill or kidnap people.

Abdel-Rahman is serving a life sentence for conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks and assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The government contends Mr. Yousry and Mr. Sattar helped relay messages from the cleric to a radical terrorist group based in Egypt. The three have pleaded not guilty.

“The government’s decision to bring additional charges against the defendants in this case is justified by the evidence we obtained during our investigation, and reflects the seriousness of the conduct allegedly engaged in by the defendants,” Mr. Ashcroft said.

“The Department of Justice remains committed to identifying, investigating and prosecuting those who are alleged to have aided our terrorist enemies by providing their support and resources to terrorist causes.”

Mr. Ashcroft said Miss Stewart and Mr. Yousry are accused of passing messages between Abdel-Rahman and his co-conspirators, including Mr. Sattar, and actively concealing that they were doing so.

The superseding indictment said that after Abdel-Rahman’s arrest, “a coalition of terrorists, supporters, and followers, including leaders and associates of the Islamic Group, al Qaeda, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the Philippines, threatened and committed acts of terrorism directed at obtaining the release of Abdel-Rahman from prison.”

According to the superseding indictment, after his arrest, Abdel-Rahman “urged his followers to wage jihad to obtain his release from custody … and to rescue him from his jail.”

Referring to the United States, Abdel-Rahman told Muslims everywhere to “dismember their nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, provoke their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, and shoot down their planes, kill them on land, at sea and in the air. Kill them wherever you find them.”

If convicted of the charges, Mr. Sattar faces maximum jail sentences ranging from five years to life. Miss Stewart and Mr. Yousry, if convicted, face maximum jail sentences ranging from five to 15 years.

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