Ali al-Tamimi : biography
Ali Al-Tamimi (also Ali Al-Timimi; born December 14, 1963, in Washington, DC) is a former Fairfax County resident, biologist, and Islamic teacher. Once regarded as a "person of interest" in the 2001 Anthrax scare, he was subsequently convicted of inciting terrorism in connection with the Virginia Jihad Network and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Al-Tamimi was born and raised in the Washington area, and was raised in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood. His father, a lawyer, worked at the Iraqi embassy, and his mother was a psychologist. When he was 15 his family moved to Saudi Arabia, where he became interested in Islam. On returning to the U.S. two years later, he attended The George Washington University and the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2004 he received a doctorate in computational biology from George Mason University on the topic of "Chaos and Complexity in Cancer".
Trial and sentencing
According to prosecution, in a meeting al-Tamimi attended in Fairfax five days after the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, he had told his followers that "the time had come for them to go abroad and join the mujaheddin engaged in violent jihad in Afghanistan." Many who attended that meeting formed the Virginia Jihad Network, trained for jihad, and some left the U.S. for terrorist training camps.
After the conclusion of the Virginia Jihad Network trials, prosecutors tried al-Tamimi for encouraging the Virginia Jihad Network wage jihad in India and the U.S. The case before U.S. District (Eastern District of Virginia) Judge Leonie M. Brinkema was on 10 counts, including soliciting others to levy war against the United States, and contributing services to the Taliban.
After considering the case for seven days, a federal jury convicted him on all 10 counts in April 2005. He was sentenced on July 14, 2005, to life imprisonment. In sentencing him, Judge Brinkema said "I don't think any well-read person can doubt the truth that terrorist camps are an essential part of the new terrorism that is perpetrated in the world today. People of good will need to do whatever they can to stop that."
While many Muslim leaders criticized the verdict, Free Muslims Against Terrorism, a new American organization, issued a press release applauding his conviction, and Kamal Nawash, its president said "By categorizing every conviction against every Muslim as a witch hunt, American Muslim leaders are closing their eyes to the sad fact that we have a problem with extremism, and that Muslims are the only ones that can defeat extremist ideologies from the Muslim community."
Ali Al-Tamimi worked at a IT company named Xpedior, Inc. Clients he provided service to included America Online (AOL). He worked for two months for Andrew Card, former Chief of Staff (2000–2006) of the George W. Bush Whitehouse, while Card was Secretary of Transportation under George H. Bush (1992–93).
The Virginia Jihad Network
Prior to al-Tamimi's prosecution, 11 male Muslim members of the so-called Virginia Jihad Network, all but one from the Washington area, were indicted on a number of charges related to their participation in a terrorist enterprise. Nine members of the group were convicted of participating in paramilitary training to prepare for "holy war " abroad that included paint guns as well as using and possessing various firearms, rocket propelled grenades and explosives. Tamimi was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case.
In the early 1990s, Al-Tamimi led a five-person delegation from the Islamic Assembly of North America in the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China. Al-Tamimi contacted Shaikh Abdel Rahaman Abdel Khaliq, who wrote a book about women in Islam, which Al-Tamimi translated into English.
He was the primary lecturer at the Center for Islamic Information and Education in Falls Church, Virginia. He was a founding member of the Center, which is also known as Dar al-Arqam.
According to a court filing by Timimi's attorney, Edward MacMahon, in late 2002, former imam and suspected al-Qaeda member Anwar al-Awlaki has visited al-Tamimi in Northern Virginia, and asked him about recruiting young Muslims to fight terrorism."Schmidt, Susan; ; The Washington Post, February 27, 2008. p. 3. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
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