Iranian widow faces terror charges in US, enraging rights advocates

Iranian-born US citizen Zeinab Taleb-Jedi, a middle-aged widow, is stuck in legal limbo in New York, facing federal terrorism charges labeling her a leader of a terror group advocating the violent overthrow of the Iranian government. Taleb-Jedi has been linked to the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, a group designated a terrorist organization by the State Department in 1997. Prosecutors say she became an English teacher in 1999 at the organization's Iraq headquarters, Camp Ashraf, and that two informants have since identified her as a member of a leadership council. However, her largely overlooked arrest and protracted prosecution has outraged civil rights advocates, who accuse federal authorities of trampling free speech by overzealously enforcing laws against providing material support to terrorist groups. A federal judge in Brooklyn has said he will soon decide whether to let the case go forward. If convicted, Taleb-Jedi faces up to 15 years in prison.