Judge won’t step aside in terror case


A Jewish federal judge in Michigan will not step down from a case involving the terrorist group Hezbollah.


Lebanese-born Fawzi Mustapha Assi, who pleaded guilty to helping Hezbollah, asked U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen to disqualify himself from sentencing Assi because Rosen is a Zionist and could not be impartial, The Detroit News reported.


Assi addressed Rosen against the advice of his court-appointed attorney.

Rosen denied the request, telling Assi he would have recused himself long ago if he felt he would not be able to be fair. The judge threw out terrorism convictions against two Muslim men in 2003 because he believed the prosecutor did not act properly.


Assi was charged in 1998 after attempting to board a flight to Lebanon with equipment used by terrorists, including night vision goggles and a thermal imaging camera.


If Rosen decides to apply a terrorism enhancement to the sentence, Assi could be jailed for 10 years. Otherwise, the sentence would likely be reduced to time served, according to the News.


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