WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't review the conviction of a Virginia man for joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush.
The court said Monday that it will leave undisturbed the conviction of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, despite an appeals court finding that his constitutional rights were violated when a judge allowed jurors, but not Abu Ali, to see classified evidence against him.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond determined that the error made no difference to the outcome of the trial.
Abu Ali has challenged various aspects of the legal process, including that he was tortured by interrogators in Saudi Arabia. Federal courts have denied all his appeals.
Born in Houston, Abu Ali grew up in the Washington suburb of Falls Church, Va., and was valedictorian of a private Islamic high school. He joined al-Qaida after traveling to Saudi Arabia to attend college in 2002. As a member of a Medina-based al-Qaida cell, Abu Ali discussed numerous potential terrorist attacks, including a plan to assassinate Bush and a plan to establish a sleeper cell in the United States.
He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but the appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing after ruling that the trial judge ignored federal sentencing guidelines that called for life in prison.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.