Virginia Terror Suspect Allegedly Linked to Al Qaeda
Posted: March 16, 2005
A Virginia man has been accused of terrorism charges related to an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate President George Bush.
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, of Falls Church, was extradited from Saudi Arabia to the United States in February 2005 and accused of supporting and conspiring with Al Qaeda. He has pleaded not guilty.
According to federal prosecutors, Abu Ali was a student at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia when he met with Zubayr Al Rimi, described as the second-ranking al Qaeda leader in Saudi Arabia, between September 2002 and June 2003 to discuss assassinating President Bush.
Al Rimi, who allegedly planned a major bombing in Saudi Arabia, was killed by Saudi security forces in September 2003 during a shootout in Jizan, south of Riyadh, as they attempted to apprehend him.
A six-count federal grand jury indictment alleges that Abu Ali "knowingly and unlawfully" conspired to "provide material support and resources ... knowing and intending that they were to be used in preparation for, and for carrying out, the assassination of the president of the United States."
Abu Ali, born in Houston and raised in suburban Virginia, was arrested by Saudi officials on June 9, 2003, and held in Riyadh until he was extradited to Virginia. A former valedictorian at an Islamic high school in Northern Virginia, Abu Ali also studied engineering at the University of Maryland.
He is scheduled to go to trial on August 22, 2005.