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U.S. sentences UK militant supporters

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 01:17

A court in Cleveland sentences two Britons for supporting Muslim militants in print and online publications. Paul Chapman reports.

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British national Babar Ahmad's been sentenced to 12 and half years by a U.S. court for supporting Muslim militants. He admitted the offence of supporting them through print and online publications in December. Prosecutors said his crime included fund raising and recruitment of fighters ahead of the September 11th attacks in 2001. The sentence includes ten years Ahmad's already served in jail. His family left court without commenting but one of his lawyers praised the judge. (SOUNDBITE)(English) JOSHUA DRATEL, ONE OF THE DEFENCE LAWYERS FOR BABAR AHMAD, SAYING: "I think he's grateful to the judge's ability to get beyond, as she said herself, get beyond the labels that apply in these cases and sentence a human being." A second Briton, Syed Talha Ahsan, who appeared alongside Ahmad, admitted supporting the Taliban through publications. Ahsan's been jailed for nine years, more than eight of which he's already served. Ahsan's brother criticised prosecutors for pursuing the case so aggressively. (SOUNDBITE)(English) HAMJA AHSAN, YOUNGER BROTHER OF SYED TALHA AHSAN, SAYING: "The prosecutors tried to paint my brother and Babar as a dangerous terrorist connected to al Qaeda but the judge acknowledges there was no connection to al Qaeda. They weren't dangerous terrorists." Ahmad and Ahsan were facing maximum terms of 25 and 15 years respectively.

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U.S. sentences UK militant supporters

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 01:17