TAMPA -- Jurors in the terrorism conspiracy trial of a former college professor and three others announced yesterday that they were deadlocked on some charges.
US District Judge James S. Moody Jr. told jurors to continue their discussions. They did so, then broke for the day in late afternoon. They were scheduled to return for a 13th day of deliberations today.
Sami Al-Arian, 47, a former computer engineering professor at the University of South Florida, and three others are accused of raising money to support the Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group associated with terrorist acts.
The jury heard from over 80 witnesses in more than five months of trial and began deliberating Nov. 15.
Prosecutors allege that the men used an academic think tank, a Palestinian charity and a school founded by Al-Arian in Tampa as fund-raising fronts for the group, which is accused of responsibility in hundreds of killings in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
The defendants argued that although they were vocal advocates in the United States for the Palestinian cause, prosecutors have not proved that they planned or knew about any violent acts. They say money they raised and sent to the Palestinian territories was for legitimate charities.
The judge said that the jury had indicated that it had reached verdicts on some charges against two of the defendants but could not agree on others.