Virginia Muslim Cleric Convicted for Inciting Terrorism
Posted: June 3, 2005
An American-born Muslim cleric has been convicted of urging his followers to wage holy war on the United States.
A jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found Fairfax resident Ali al-Timimi guilty on six counts of counseling and advising his followers to engage in terrorist activities. Al-Timimi’s conviction, handed down on April 26, is the 10th in the so-called “Virginia Jihad” case.
The jury found that al-Timimi, 41, encouraged a number of young Muslims, some of them American converts, to seek terrorist training in Pakistan and to use firearms and explosives to fight against coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Al-Timimi, considered a preeminent scholar among radical Muslims, frequently gave lectures at Dar Al Arqam Mosque in Falls Church. Preaching an extremist Islamic doctrine known as Salafiyya, he became the spiritual leader for a group of young Muslims. Three of these men testified that, shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, al-Timimi urged them to travel to Afghanistan to defend Islam by taking up arms against American forces there.
The prosecution also alleged that al-Timimi gave two followers instructions on how to reach a terrorist training camp run by the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan.
In his sermons, al-Timimi often incorporated anti-Israel, anti-Semitic or anti-Western rhetoric. For example, according to the indictment, al-Timimi declared that the 2003 explosion of the space shuttle Columbia portended the ultimate destruction of the West and Israel.