CAIR-FL: AL-ARIAN KIN HEADING HOME TO EGYPT
The family of Sami Al-Arian, a former Florida university professor convicted of supporting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, is moving to Egypt.
Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for Tampa's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Tampa Tribune he believes Nahla Al-Arian is leaving now so her two youngest children can get a fresh start on a new school year.
Bedier also said he thinks it will be easier for Nahla to support the family in Egypt while her husband is serving time in federal prison here in the United States.
Acquitted on eight of the 17 charges against him, Sami pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to aid the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group the U.S. government has deemed a terrorist organization.
The Palestinian computer engineer also was sentenced for a contempt violation for refusing to testify in front of a Virginia grand jury investigating Islamic charities.
Sami, who was born in Kuwait and raised in Egypt, is to be deported after being released from prison.
The Al-Arian family was the focus of "USA vs Al-Arian," a documentary by Norwegian director Line Halvorsen recently shown in Tampa.