Judge challenges prosecutors on terror case claim

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge preparing to sentence a British citizen for supporting terrorists in Afghanistan challenged prosecutors on their claim that his support extended to al-Qaida.

Judge Janet Hall said Friday Babar Ahmad’s support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan didn’t necessarily mean he supported al-Qaida. She cited the testimony of a government cooperating witness who denied Ahmad supported al-Qaida.

Prosecutor Stephen Reynolds says Ahmad sent people to terror training camps run by al-Qaida. He says Ahmad was not a member of al-Qaida but became sympathetic to the terrorist group.

Hall is weighing the scope of Ahmad’s conduct for his sentencing next week.

Prosecutors say he deserves a 25-year sentence, calling his support far-reaching. Ahmad’s attorney says prosecutors overstated the case and the 10 years he already has served in prison is enough.

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