A judge in Yemen sentenced the radical American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in absentia on Monday to 10 years in prison on charges of incitement to murder and belonging to a terrorist group.
American and Yemeni officials say Mr. Awlaki is working with Al Qaeda’s Arabian branch to plot terrorist attacks, and the Obama administration has authorized his targeted killing. He is believed to be hiding in the remote mountains of Shabwa Province in Yemen.
Mr. Awlaki was convicted in connection with the murder in October of a French citizen, Jacques Spagnolo, in the Yemeni capital, Sana. Prosecutors said that in e-mail exchanges, Mr. Awlaki incited the 19-year-old gunman, Hisham Muhammad Assem, to kill foreigners. A cousin of Mr. Awlaki’s who is also in hiding, Othman al-Awlaki, was accused of incitement in the case along with him, and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
News Agencies –
Ontario’s highest court has restored Canada’s anti-terror law to full strength and sent an unmistakable message that terrorists acting on Canadian soil “will pay a very heavy price.” The Ontario Court of Appeal released six major decisions in terrorism cases on 17 December 2010. In its leading judgment, the court dismissed an appeal from Ottawa software engineer Momin Khawaja, the first person convicted under Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation, increasing his sentence from 10 ½ years to life in prison.
The court also upheld — and, in two instances, increased — prison terms handed to three members of the Toronto 18 in connection with the plan to detonate bombs at the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) headquarters on Front Street and an unspecified military base east of Toronto.
A youth charged as part of the “Toronto 18” terrorism arrests was released after two years in custody. The youth cannot be named because he was under-age at the time of the arrests; he was sentenced as an adult. For knowingly participating in a terrorism group, the now-21-year-old could have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison. His shorter sentence has received some criticism. He was the first to be sentenced in this high-profile Canadian terrorism case. 18 people were charged initially. Charges against three youths and four adults have been stayed; one adult recently plead guilty but has yet to be charged, and the other adult suspects have yet to go on trial.