Dr. Sami Al-Arian (48) was born in Kuwait as a son of Palestinian refugees. He came to the US as a young student in 1975, received his Masters Degree and PhD and in 1986 he started working as a professor of computer engineering at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He is a father of five children.

Dr. Al-Arian has been a tireless voice for freedom and justice at home and around the world. He is an outspoken advocate for Palestinian rights, but also a persistent defender of civil and constitutional rights in the USA. In 2001, Newsweek magazine named him the premier civil rights activist in America for his efforts to repeal the use of secret evidence. Sami Al-Arian has been in prison since February 2003; most of the time he has been held in high-security facilities. Currently he is in the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina.


Nahla Al-Arian (45) is married to Sami and the mother of five. She is an American citizen and a daughter of Palestinian refugees. Ever since Sami was arrested four years ago, she has been a single mother in charge of her family. For the time being, her whole life revolves around aiding and supporting her husband and keeping her family together.


Abdullah Al-Arian (25) is a PhD student in history at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He is convinced the case against his father is politically motivated and that it also reflects racism against Muslims. As the oldest son in the family, Abdullah has become the family’s “spokesperson” and is under a lot of stress due to the responsibility of taking care of his family.



Laila Al-Arian (24) is the oldest daughter in the Al-Arian family. She recently finished her Master’s Degree in journalism at Colombia University in New York and is now working at The Nation magazine. She would like to work as a journalist specializing in the Middle East.


Leena Al-Arian (20) is doing her Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern studies at University of Chicago. She is active in the Muslim student group and would like to continue in her father’s footsteps by educating Americans about the plight of the Palestinians.



Ali Al-Arian (15) is the youngest son in the Al-Arian family. He had a traumatizing experience when armed FBI agents stormed their house and arrested his father. Ali really misses his father, is very concerned about his father’s future and also about the condition of his mother. Ali spends a lot of time in his room, studying, watching TV and playing computer games. He also loves to play football, soccer and basketball.


Lama Al-Arian (12) is the youngest daughter in the Al-Arian family. She was sent to live with her grandmother in Egypt to be protected from the trauma and the negative attention surrounding the trial. Like her siblings, she has not had many opportunities for contact visits with her father during the past four years. Her trip to Egypt opens up an opportunity to finally meet with her father.




Linda Moreno represented Sami Al-Arian together with William B. Moffitt. Linda Moreno has practiced exclusively criminal defense in both state and federal courts for the last 26 years. She is a member of the California State Bar, the Florida Bar, and the United States Supreme Court Bar. She has also practiced in New York and Texas. Her focus is on the constitutional implications of the Patriot Act and other terrorism statutes.

Ms. Moreno is currently counsel of record in the federal indictment of the pre-eminent Muslim charity in America, the United States vs. Holy Land Foundation, et al, in Dallas, Texas. She is also the retained trial consultant in the federal case of the United States vs. Adham Hassoun, Jose Padilla, et al, in Miami, Florida, another high profile case that is being watched by human rights organizations around the world.


Paul Ignatius Perez was appointed as US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida by President George W. Bush in 2002 He holds a position in the Advisory Committee’s Controlled Substances and Terrorism and National Security Subcommittees.
Perez managed more than 100 prosecutors who handled federal cases in 35 of Florida's 67 counties, and was in charge of the prosecution against Dr. Al-Arian.  The middle district encompasses a swath that includes the cities of Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Ft. Myers.

In March 2007, Perez announced that he was leaving office after accepting an offer as the chief compliance officer for Fidelity National Financial. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said of the timing of Perez's resignation, "This is a personal decision for him."


David D. Cole is a Law Professor at Georgetown University. He has litigated First Amendment and other constitutional issues and contributes regularly to the media on topical legal issues. He has published in a variety of areas, including civil rights, criminal justice, constitutional law and law and literature. He is the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, a commentator on National Public Radio: All Things Considered, and the author of three books: Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism; Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties for National Security and No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System. Professor Cole has received numerous awards for his civil rights and civil liberties work.


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