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Prosecutors say the Falls Church resident has admitted joining al- Qaida while attending college in Saudi Arabia and that he discussed numerous terrorist plots, including plans to assassinate Bush and hijack airplanes. Abu Ali says he was tortured into giving a false confession by Saudi authorities and that U.S. officials aided the torture. His lawyers are asking to have the confession tossed out.
The motion says that Abu Ali was asked to research the location of U.S. nuclear power sites for possible attack. The request was made by the second-highest ranking al-Qaida operative in Saudi Arabia, Sultan Jubran Sultan al-Qahtani, according to the motion.
Also, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Laufman writes in the motion that Abu Ali was frustrated and bored during a stay at an al-Qaida safe house "because his fellow al-Qaida cell members did not appear sufficiently motivated to suit the defendant's terrorist zeal."
Abu Ali's lawyers did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.