Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (Arabic: احمد عمر أبو علي) is an American who was convicted of providing material support to the al Qaeda terrorist network and conspiracy to assassinate President George W. Bush.
Born in Houston, Texas, in 1981 and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Abu Ali was valedictorian of his class at the Islamic Saudi Academy high school in nearby Alexandria. Abu Ali entered the University of Maryland in the fall of 1999 as an electrical engineering major, prayed at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia (where two of the 9/11 hijackers and the suspected shooter in the Fort Hood shooting prayed), but withdrew in the middle of the 2000 spring semester to study Islamic theology at the Islamic University of Medina in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
In June 2003, Abu Ali was arrested by Saudi authorities while taking exams at the Islamic University of Medina. He was held for approximately 20 months by the Saudi government without charges or access to an attorney, and given the paucity of information coming out of Saudi Arabia about the case, many human rights organizations speculated that Abu Ali's situation was actually a case of extraordinary rendition and that he might be subject to torture. In addition, comments allegedly made by Gordon Kromberg, a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia, heightened the concerns that Abu Ali had faced torture during his detention and interrogation in Saudi Arabia. In 2003, Kromberg was asked by a defense lawyer whether Abu Ali would be brought to the United States to face charges. Kromberg responded: "He's no good for us here. He has no fingernails left," according to an affidavit filed in court by the lawyer, Salim Ali.