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Since April, Kifah Jayyousi has been living in a small cell in solitary confinement in the Federal Detention Center in Miami. The accused terrorist from Detroit is not allowed contact with other prisoners and can’t go outside for fresh air or exercise. He is not allowed a television and has a small radio to keep him company through the long hours. The U.S. Justice Department says Jayyousi, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Jordan, was part of a Muslim extremist cell operating in this country that included Jose Padilla, the Chicago man the government had originally accused of conspiring to set off a radioactive bomb. Padilla, who was recently indicted in Miami, is being held in a military brig in South Carolina as an enemy combatant. Prosecutors are fighting to change Padilla’s legal status and move him to Miami to face terrorism charges. Jayyousi is accused of recruiting “brothers” for jihad training and raising money for satellite phones to support anti-Russian Islamic rebels in Chechnya. He also is accused of soliciting funds for “violent jihad,” and expressed his support for convicted World Trade Center bombers through his newsletter, “Islam Report.” He, Padilla and three other men face charges in Miami of conspiring to commit murder, kidnapping or maiming, and providing material support to carry out these crimes. Jayyousi, 46, is an honorably discharged U.S. Navy sailor, an engineering Ph.D. and a former assistant superintendent of schools in Detroit. He had a security clearance to work on nuclear submarines. His court file includes two letters of commendation from his Navy superiors, including one who said Jayyousi “earned my total trust and confidence.” He has a Tuesday hearing before U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami at which he will ask to be freed on bond. His Dec. 8 motion for revocation of detention sheds light on both the government’s case against Jayyousi and on his background. The U.S. Attorney’s office has not yet responded to Jayyousi’s motion, but is expected to fight it as it has with other terrorism defendants. Alex Acosta, interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, declined to comment on the case. Jayyousi’s attorney, William Swor, of Detroit, said he plans to make some of the same First Amendment arguments that former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian made in winning partial acquittal in his recent terrorism trial in Tampa. Swor said in an interview that his client was simply exercising his First Amendment right to free speech and did not know that the group for which he was raising money, Global Relief Foundation, was funding terrorist activities. It’s unclear what effect a ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week in Padilla’s case could have on the remaining four defendants — Jayyousi, Adham Hassoun of Sunrise, Kassem Daher and Mohammed Youssef. However, they say it could wind up delaying their case. Trial is set for September 2006. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, Va., dealt a blow to the Bush administration when it refused to allow the transfer of Padilla from military custody to civilian law enforcement authorities to face the terrorism-related charges in Miami. The panel said the Justice Department’s transfer of Padilla gave the appearance that the government was attempting to avoid a U.S. Supreme Court review of the case. Such a review could call into question the Bush administration’s policy of detaining U.S. citizens as enemy combatants and denying them normal due process rights. “The 4th Circuit ruling will likely delay and complicate our case,” Swor said in an interview. “It should only affect the timing of the case; it shouldn’t affect the substance. It should have little impact on the outcome of our case.” Acosta had no comment on the impact of the Padilla ruling on the pending terrorism case. ‘PROVEN WINNER’ While Padilla and Hassoun have garnered considerable media attention, Jayyousi is less well known. Both he and Hassoun are in solitary confinement in the Federal Detention Center in Miami. Daher is believed to be in Lebanon, and Youssef is imprisoned in Egypt on an unrelated terrorism conviction. Jayyousi was arrested last March at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport when he re-entered this country to visit his parents after an engineering stint in Qatar. Jayyousi served as a petty officer in the U.S. Navy for 14 months in 1986, where he was stationed aboard the USS Leary. He obtained a security clearance allowing him to work on nuclear submarines. A letter of recommendation from one of his commanding officers recommending Jayyousi for promotion said he “is a proven winner. He is capable of achieving anything in an exemplary manner.” In 1987, Jayyousi became a U.S. citizen and subsequently earned a doctorate in civil engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit. He then served as assistant superintendent for physical facilities and capital improvement for the Detroit Public Schools. Jayyousi left Detroit in 1999 to work as an administrator for the Washington, D.C., schools. He later returned to Detroit to become an adjunct professor of engineering at Wayne State. In 2003, he took a leave of absence from the university to work as an engineer for Project Control Systems Global in Qatar. He took his wife and three daughters with him to Qatar, leaving his two sons in Detroit to finish school, Swor said. According to Jayyousi’s motion for bail, the FBI met with him eight times between 1995 and 2003 and ultimately seized his computers. Last April, he was indicted with Hassoun and transferred to the detention center in Miami. Last month, in a superseding indictment, Jayyousi was indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami along with the four co-defendants. ‘PROMOTOED VIOLENT JIHAD’ In the indictment, the government accused Jayyousi, Daher and Hassoun of forming a network across North America to raise funds for and recruit mujahedeen to fight in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Somalia and other countries. The indictment was based in part on the government’s taping of about 50,000 telephone conversations involving Jayyousi, Daher and Hassoun. Defense lawyers for the three say they are hiring an Arabic translator to review the tapes. The three men allegedly used the cover of “charitable” organizations such as American Worldwide Relief, Save Bosnia Now and the Islamic Information Center of the Americas to raise money and recruits for jihad. Jayyousi, according to his indictment, was a supporter of Sheikh Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in Manhattan in 1993. From 1994 to 1996, Jayyousi published an electronic newsletter, the “Islam Report,” in which he allegedly “promoted violent jihad” and reported on developments in the prosecution of Sheikh Abdel Rahman. Jayyousi, the government charged, also founded the American Islamic Group, which he described as “the voice of the mujahidden [sic].” He solicited funds in the newsletter to support “Mujahideen [sic] families, in support of Martyrs families and in support of Muslim prisoners, torture victims and Scholars,” according to the indictment. The government also alleges that Jayyousi recruited and sent two men overseas to commit “violent jihad,” and provided at least two satellite phones to Chechen commanders fighting to end Russian control of Chechnya. These phones eventually were identified by the Russian government, which cut off their signals, according to the indictment. Swor counters that the satellite phones were intended for refugees, Jayyousi’s newsletter was an exercise in free speech, and Jayyousi only raised a small amount of money and it was for humanitarian relief efforts. Swor also said the government’s charges concern alleged actions that occurred more than 10 years ago; therefore the statute of limitations has expired. NOT A FLIGHT RISK? In his motion seeking bail, Swor asserts Jayyousi is not a flight risk, pointing to the fact that he owns two houses and cars in Detroit, has children and parents living in the United States and has no access to any money outside the United States. In addition, the motion says, the Goldfarb Bonding Agency of Miami has offered to write a surety bond, Jayyousi’s employer, Project Control Systems, has promised to keep his job open if he’s released, and global positioning satellite equipment could easily track Jayyousi’s actions 24 hours a day. As proof that Jayyousi was not hiding or fleeing from the United States while in Qatar, the motion for bail includes a letter from the U.S. Embassy in Qatar stating that Jayyousi registered himself with the embassy on Sept. 23, 2003 as a U.S. citizen residing in Qatar. “If Dr. Jayyousi had intended to flee, or otherwise avoid the jurisdiction of the United States courts, he need only have stayed in Qatar,” stated Swor in his motion. “Dr. Jayyousi voluntarily returned to the United States, knowing full well that he could be subject to arrest and prosecution.” Also included in the motion is an August 2003 letter sent by Jayyousi’s then-attorney, M. Jon Posner, to the FBI’s Detroit office, notifying agents that Jayyousi would be in the United States between Aug. 20 and Aug. 28 of that year and was available for an interview then. Posner also inquired whether his client was the target of a criminal investigation. In a letter sent back to Posner, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade stated that “the agents involved in this investigation do not have time to interview your client during the time frame you suggested or immediately thereafter. We hope to be contacting you in the future for an interview.” ‘CAGED LIKE AN ANIMAL’ In his motion seeking bail, Swor complains that Jayyousi cannot help him adequately prepare for the case because he is not allowed to keep more than one cubic foot of material in his cell and is limited to a 3-inch-long pencil to write notes. That’s “guaranteed to bring on carpal tunnel syndrome,” the motion states. Jayyousi’s lawyers say he is allowed to visit with his wife for one hour every two weeks and has only been allowed one visit with his daughters since his detention. They meet in a small room separated by a thick glass wall. Unlike prisoners in the general population, he is not permitted to touch or hug his family members. Prisoners in the general population are allowed to meet their lawyers in a special conference room where they can spread out papers on a table. Jayyousi talks to his lawyer in a 10-by-10 room with a glass partition between them. Jayyousi says he has a broken crown on one of his teeth and is in intense pain but has been refused dental treatment and only has received aspirin. Jayyousi’s lawyers say he is not allowed to participate in Friday Muslim prayers. The Federal Detention Center has also failed to provide an accredited Muslim spiritual leader to counsel Jayyousi and other Muslim prisoners, Swor alleges. “It’s an outrage that he is being housed this way in the United States,” said one of Jayyousi’s lawyers, Dennis Kainen of Miami. “He is caged like an animal. This man has a Ph.D., he was a professor and is a U.S. citizen. He hasn’t been convicted of anything.” In September, Judge Cooke promised to make sure the Bureau of Prisons provided Jayyousi and Hassoun with adequate access to their lawyers, prayer, medical care and other needs. One defense expert said it’s unlikely that Jayyousi will win release on bail. “It is a very uphill road,” said Michael Pasano, a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder in Miami who chairs the American Bar Association’s criminal justice section. “There’s a very slim chance of a terrorism suspect getting bail. The judge may feel ‘If I let him out and I’m wrong, millions could die.’” In addition, Pasano noted, the government is adverse to granting bail because defendants are more likely to cut deals and can’t mount as effective a defense while they are detained.

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