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Brinkema suggested afterward that she can’t trust what government agencies say about classified evidence in terror cases. She said she might order a new trial in another high-profile terror case — northern Virginia Islamic scholar Ali al-Timimi, convicted of soliciting treason for urging followers to join the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks. Unlike in the Al-Arian case, though, the judge has continued to hold hearings and issue rulings in that case.
"Maybe this is just her way of addressing ... her concerns about the government’s case," Tobias said.
Indeed, in a March 2009 hearing, Brinkema expressed her opinion that Al-Arian may have been essentially hoodwinked.
"But I think there’s something more important here, and that’s the integrity of the Justice Department," she said.
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