Terrorism Convictions

Against Two Dismissed

DETROIT -- Acting at the request of prosecutors, a federal judge threw out the terrorism charges Thursday against two men convicted last year.

But U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said the two, as well as a third man, must stand trial again on charges of document fraud.

The judge's decision came after the Justice Department admitted widespread prosecutorial misconduct in the case and asked the judge to dismiss the terrorism charges against two men accused of being part of a Detroit terrorist cell.

In a case the government once hailed as a victory against terrorism, Karim Koubriti, 26, and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi, 37, were convicted in June 2003 of conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism and to engage in fraud and misuse of visas and other documents.

A third man, Ahmed Hannan, 35, was convicted of only the fraud charge, and Farouk Ali-Haimoud, 22, was acquitted.

The government's decision, outlined in court papers Tuesday, came after a months-long court-ordered review of documents connected to the case. The Justice Department uncovered several pieces of potentially exculpatory evidence that should have been given to the defense before trial.

Guardsman Guilty

In Al Qaeda Case

FORT LEWIS, Wash. -- Spec. Ryan G. Anderson, a National Guardsman accused of trying to give al Qaeda information about U.S. troops, including methods for killing soldiers, was found guilty on all five counts of trying to help the terrorist network.

Anderson, a tank crewman whose 81st Armored Brigade unit is now in Iraq, was accused of trying to give terrorists information about U.S. troops' strength and tactics. The terrorists he thought he was meeting with were undercover federal agents, prosecutors said.

The Muslim convert, 27, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

* TOLEDO, Ohio -- State troopers stopped cars and campers at checkpoints along the Ohio-Michigan state line. They were not looking for drunk drivers or drugs -- just firewood. Ohio has banned the bringing of firewood into the state from Michigan, where a tree-killing beetle has killed or infested 8 million ash trees.

* SALT LAKE CITY -- A homeless street preacher and self-proclaimed prophet pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and other charges in the knifepoint abduction of teenager Elizabeth Smart. Brian David Mitchell answered "not guilty" for each of the six charges read to him by the judge. His trial was set for the first week in February. A grand jury indictment against Mitchell was unsealed Wednesday, a day after Mitchell was ruled competent to stand trial.

* NEW ORLEANS -- A Bengal tiger running loose at a Louisiana Army base has been a three-day problem for the trackers and soldiers trying to catch it. The Army does not know where the animal came from, but animal welfare experts say the case reflects a nationwide problem: untrained people who buy such animals as pets and cannot handle them. There are as many as 10,000 pet tigers in the United States -- more than double the number of the endangered cats that live in the wild in their native south Asia, animal experts say.

-- From News Services