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al-Qaida Sleeper Agent Pleads Guilty in Illinois

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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PEORIA, Ill.—- An al-Qaida sleeper agent who was locked up without charge for years by the Bush administration pleaded guilty Thursday to supporting terrorism in the months before and immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Ali al-Marri, 43, a married father of five who was attending college in this central Illinois city when he was arrested, admitted to one count of conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

He faces up to 15 years in prison at his July 30 sentencing.

“We thought (the plea) was the right approach to take based on the evidence the government allowed us to review over the last several weeks,” said al-Marri’s attorney, Andy Savage.

Plea negotiations have been going on since before al-Marri’s initial court appearance in Peoria in March, Savage said.

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