Appeals court upholds conviction of New York man in terrorist case

New York (Associated Press)-On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of a New Yorker who was accused of providing material support to Hezbollah by seeking terrorist targets in New York City, despite one of the three judges. The 40-year imprisonment challenged him, saying that it was too long because no one was directly harmed by the crime.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan ruled on Ali Kourani’s appeal and challenged the conviction and sentence.

Prosecutors said that after being recruited, trained and deployed by Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad, the Lebanese-born Kulani spent several years under surveillance at federal buildings, airports and daycare centers.

In a majority opinion written by Circuit Judge Jose A. Cabranes, the Appellate Judge concluded that the trial was properly conducted Before Kourani was convicted in 2019 And the judge did not mistakenly allow the prosecutor to use the confession he made during the FBI trial in 2017.

The Second Circuit stated that when FBI agents met Kourani in the conference room of Seton Hall University, they did not take coercive measures. The agents wore business casual clothes and did not display weapons.

But in part of the dissent, itinerant judge Rosemary S. Pooler stated that the 40-year sentence was too harsh compared to the sentences of other defendants convicted of similar crimes. She wrote that 20 years of imprisonment is more consistent with similar convictions.

She said: “I have not forgotten that Kulani’s actions may lead to more harmful results. However, they did not, and therefore, the penalty imposed was disproportionately high.”

According to the authorities, Cullani came to the United States legally in 2003, obtained a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2009, and a master’s degree in business administration in 2013. He was naturalized in the United States in April 2009 and obtained a U.S. passport.

The prosecutor said that after a family home was destroyed during the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, the terrorist organization recruited Kulani.

They said he went to Lebanon in 2011 when he learned to use rocket grenade launchers, assault rifles, submachine guns, machine guns and Glock pistols.

A message for comments has been sent to his lawyer.

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