Terror defense focuses on Chechen relief

Aug. 2, 2007 at 11:40 PM
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MIAMI, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Defense attorneys in Miami Thursday showed a video about aiding Muslims abroad to portray their client as supporting religious brethren, not terror.

Defense witness Erol Bulur recounted how terror suspect Kifah Jayyousi's organization, American Worldwide Relief, provided several tons of relief supplies that were delivered to his warehouse in Paterson, N.J., then shipped to Istanbul, Turkey, and on to Baku, Azerbaijan, where they were sent over the border to Chechnya.

In the video produced by Bulur in the mid-1990s and shown on his own public access television show, volunteers packed boxes of clothing, food, medicine and other items bound for the breakaway Russian province.

During the course of the trial prosecutors painted a very different picture of American Worldwide Relief, Jayyousi and his fellow defendants Adham Hassoun and Jose Padilla, all accused of providing money, equipment and material support to terrorist organizations in places like Chechnya.

In June, Muslim convert Jeremy Collins, who worked for the relief organization, testified for the government that he distanced himself from Jayyousi after a fellow Muslim returned from Chechnya was part of his leg blown off by a landmine.

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