US court hears appeal in Bush assassination plot

A federal appeals court hears arguments Thursday in the case of an American Muslim convicted of joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali claims Saudi security officials tortured him into a false confession. The admissibility of the confession, which prosecutors say was not forced, is a key issue before a three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Abu Ali, a US citizen born to a Jordanian father and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, was convicted in November 2005 of conspiracy to assassinate the president, conspiracy to hijack aircraft and providing support to al-Qaida. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.