ALBANY, N.Y. – Albany Imam Yassin Aref has already begun
serving time in prison, but his supporters continue to fight to have him
Aref's appeal attorney, local activists and an Albany County
legislator gathered to speak out following the most recent court decision. His
attorney said she filed an appeal to his conviction on the grounds that Aref
wasn't the first person the FBI was originally after in its sting.
The Imam was convicted in 2006 for conspiring to aid a
terrorist group and for providing support for a weapon of mass destruction.
Supporters have said it was entrapment based on warrantless surveillance.
His appeals attorney, Kathy Manley, said Aref remains optimistic about the
“Yassin has always had the best attitude,” she said. “I
think it's partly his religion, partly just his personality. He's always being
optimistic and trying to look at the best light possible.
Manley said this latest appeal as thrown out on procedural
grounds, and she said it's not clear if there's a next step.