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THE WAR ON TERRORISM:
Maher Hawash Pleads Guilty In Taliban Case

08/07/03

On August 6th, Maher Mofeid Hawash pled guilty in a Portland, Oregon, federal court to conspiracy of knowingly and illegally supplying services "to the territory of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban or to the Taliban" in violation of Executive Order 13129, which was issued by President Clinton on July 4, 1999. He, an American citizen, and his co-conspirators planned to travel from Portland to Afghanistan to assist the Taliban in fighting against the armed forces of the United States, prepared to "die as martyrs if necessary to defend the Taliban government in Afghanistan."

In October of 2001, in the wake of the horrific attacks of September 11, he put his affairs in order, flew to Hong Kong, obtained a visa to enter mainland China, and flew to Urumqi in Western China. Taking a train to Kashgar, he and his associates were unsuccessful in entering Pakistan, from where he intended to cross the border in Afghanistan, and ultimately had to turn back, leaving money behind, however, for his associates to use in the cause.

Mr. Hawash, in pleading guilty, has further agreed to cooperate completely and truthfully in the investigation and prosecution of his co-conspirators, telling all the facts of the conspiracy and providing truthful testimony to grand juries and at hearings, trials, and military commissions. The government is recommending that he be sentenced to no less than seven years and no more than 10 years in prison. Mr. Hawash was arrested outside Portland on March 20 in the parking lot of Intel Corporation, where he worked as a software engineer.