Florida jurors hung on alleged terror funding case

Jurors in the terrorism conspiracy trial of a former University of South Florida professor and three associates have reached full verdicts on two of the defendants, but remain deadlocked on some charges leveled against the other two men. The deadlock came as the jury had been deliberating for a 12th day Monday, trying to decide if Sami Al-Arian, a 47-year-old computer engineering professor, and three others raised money and conspired to support the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Prosecutors allege that Al-Arian and co-defendants Sameeh Hammoudeh, Ghassan Zayed Ballut and Hatem Naji Fariz used an academic think tank, a Palestinian charity and school founded by Al-Arian in Tampa as fund-raising fronts for the Islamic Jihad. The 51-count indictment includes charges of operating a criminal enterprise, conspiracy to murder and maim people outside the United States, money-laundering, and providing material support to a terrorist group. The four men argued that while they were vocal advocates for the Palestinian cause, they are innocent of the charges and that the money they raised and sent to the Palestinian territories was for legitimate charities.