Convicted terrorist driver accuses government of illegal wiretapping

| 4/14/2006

An Ohio truck driver who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003 for conspiring with al-Qaida operatives to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge has now charged the federal government with obtaining evidence against him through illegal wiretaps.

The Associated Press reported that Lyman Faris was contacted by FBI agents in Cincinnati in March 2003 based on information received from a wire interception in a separate investigation conducted by the National Security Agency. Prosecutors had acknowledged this information, but never said whether the wiretap was authorized by a judge.

Now, Faris is challenging the charges, claiming that the wiretap was illegal and that the evidence should not have been allowed in court.

The AP reported that this challenge is among the first to seek evidence of warrantless electronic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.

Prosecutors said in their filing that they would address concerns about the alleged warrantless eavesdropping in a separate, sealed motion, according to The AP.

Faris pleaded guilty to charges of meeting with al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan and scouting potential terrorist targets in the U.S. in 2002 and 2003.