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A Syrian member of al-Qaeda, Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa (Arabic: لؤي محمد حج بكر الصقا‎) was convicted of masterminding and financing the 2003 Istanbul bombings, and in February 2007, was sentenced to life imprisonment without any chance of parole by the Turkish courts.[1]

He was arrested in August 2005, while allegedly planning a bomb attack against an Israeli cruise ship[2] He was accused of supplying Turkish militants $170,000 to perform the bombing.[3]

Unlike some of the six Turkish men also given life sentences for the attacks, al-Saqa maintained his innocence throughout the trial.[1]

al-Saqa's lawyer was banned from the court for "aiding and abetting al-Qaeda", and al-Saqa was twice thrown out of the court himself, once at his first court appearance in March 2006 for refusing to stand and identify himself to the judge[4] and again two months later for wearing an orange jumpsuit similar to those worn by prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.[5]

During his trial, al-Saqa was questioned by prosecutor Huseyin Canan about the beheading of British engineer Kenneth Bigley in Iraq.[6]



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