In its own way, the federal prosecution of Sami Omar Al-Hussayen heralds a new generation of terrorism cases.
The Saudi graduate student is currently on trial in an Idaho federal court for allegedly supporting terror groups by maintaining a number of radical Islamic Web sites. His case is one of the first to go to trial in the new legal landscape that emerged after the demolition of the infamous "wall" that kept intelligence information out of the hands of law enforcement. Attorney General John Ashcroft, in testimony last month before the Sept. 11 commission, blamed the existence of the wall for intelligence failures in the months leading up to the terrorist attacks.
Much of the evidence against Al-Hussayen was gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- or FISA -- and is classified. It's also in Arabic. This poses huge problems for his defense attorneys, as the Legal Times reports here via Law.com.