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Terrorism and the American Dream: Part II

In case you missed part one of this series, you’ll find that here, Terrorism and the American Dream: Part I. Also, ticklethewire.com columnist Greg Stejskal,  a retired FBI agent, previously wrote a column defending the prosecutor in the case, Richard Convertino. To read that column called “Sleeper Cell Nightmare”  click here.

 

In the second of three installments, Deadline Detroit tells the story of how Karim Koubriti has rebuilt his life after being wrongly convicted of terrorism. Photo/Millard Berry

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– Karim Koubriti waited in jail for trial. It was 2001. He was accused, along with three other friends, of operating a terrorist sleeper cell in Detroit in a case that generated national attention in the chaos and paranoia of the post-9/11 world.

In October 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft suggested the group had prior knowledge of the 9/11 plot. A day later, Ashcroft retracted the statement.

“I was very angry,” Koubriti recalled, recalling that time. “Everybody was pissed off. This is not happening. This is a joke.”

At some point, the men were kept separate from one another at the Wayne County Jail and in lock down for 23 hours a day.

Koubriti’s lawyer, Richard Helfrick, who sat in on the interview with Deadline Detroit, said prosecutor Richard Convertino wanted the four men to plead guilty, but insisted they give up information about terrorism.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Helfrick recalled saying. The defendants simply were not terrorists.

To read the full story click here.

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