National

Oct 29, 2009 4:30 PM by Associated Press

Al-Qaida agent sentenced to 8 years in prison

A former al-Qaida agent has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for conspiring to help a foreign terrorist organization.

Ali al-Marri had faced a maximum sentence of 15 years, but U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm imposed a shorter sentence of eight years and four months Thursday.

Al-Marri's attorneys had argued the 44-year-old Qatar native deserved a break because of harsh treatment in a Navy brig where he was held for almost six years.

Al-Marri was arrested in December 2001 while a graduate student at Bradley University in central Illinois.

He was declared an enemy combatant in 2003 and held without charges until last year. He pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

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