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Virginia man sentenced in terror training case
07/25/2007
In a precedent-setting case, a man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for lying to authorities about his participation in a terror training camp in Pakistan after prosecutors successfully argued that his lies obstructed a wide-ranging terrorism investigation. Under normal sentencing guidelines, Sabri Benkahla, 32, would have received at most a three-year term for his convictions earlier this year on charges of lying to a grand jury, obstruction of justice and making a false statement. But for the first time, prosecutors were able to obtain a stiffer sentence by arguing that Benkahla's lies effectively promoted terrorism. Prosecutor Gordon Kromberg argued that Benkahla stymied an FBI investigation when he refused to tell a grand jury about his contacts on a 1999 trip to a training camp run by a group called Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the US has since designated a terrorist organization and Kromberg said has links to al-Qaida.
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