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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2740

American Lawyer sentenced to prison for giving “Material Support” to a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.”

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 19 October ( A New York-based civil rights lawyer Lynne F. Stewart was convicted for providing material support to an Egyptian terrorist organization designated by the United States Government a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" and was sentenced to 28 months in prison by a U.S. District Court in New York on Monday, October 16.

She had released a statement issued by one of her clients, Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind sheik sentenced to life in prison for plotting to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate Egyptian president.

Prosecutors have called the conviction a major victory in the war on terrorism. They said Lynne Stewart and other defendants carried messages between the sheik and the leadership of an Egyptian terrorist organization that encouraged violence.

She was arrested six months after the September 11 attacks on American soil along with two others; one was convicted and received one year and eight months in jail and the other 24 years.

The sentence pronounced by Judge John G. Koeltl in Federal District Court in Manhattan was much lower than the 30 years the prosecutors asked. The Judge said there had been "an irreducible core of extraordinarily severe criminal conduct" in her actions on behalf of the client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.

Lynne Stewart was convicted on February 10, 2005 of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism by smuggling the sheik’s message encouraging violence by his militant followers in Egypt. Judge Koeltl on October 16 confirmed that judgment.

The judge said Stewart could remain free while she appeals to a higher court.

Providing material support to any foreign organization designated as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" by the United States government can carry a prison sentence of 15 years. “Material Support” is defined in the U.S. law as follows:

Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 113B
2339 A Providing Material Support to Terrorists

(a) Offense.— Whoever provides material support or resources or conceals or disguises the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources, knowing or intending that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, a violation of section 32, 37, 81, 175, 229, 351, 831, 842 (m) or (n), 844 (f) or (i), 930 (c), 956, 1114, 1116, 1203, 1361, 1362, 1363, 1366, 1751, 1992, 1993, 2155, 2156, 2280, 2281, 2332, 2332a, 2332b, 2332f, or 2340A of this title, section 236 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2284), section 46502 or 60123 (b) of title 49, or any offense listed in section 2332b (g)(5)(B) (except for sections 2339A and 2339B) or in preparation for, or in carrying out, the concealment of an escape from the commission of any such violation, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life. A violation of this section may be prosecuted in any Federal judicial district in which the underlying offense was committed, or in any other Federal judicial district as provided by law.

(b) Definitions.— As used in this section—

(1) the term “material support or resources” means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials;

(2) the term "training" means instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge; and

(3) the term "expert advice or assistance" means advice or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge.

It is interesting that providing material support includes "expert advice or assistance" which some professionals in the United States provide organizations that the United States government has designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).

- Asian Tribune -

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