Everyone who knew Ahmed attests to his innocence: his loving personality, his faith in goodness, his noble character, and his desire to spend his life serving others. Here are some letters of support from his friends, teachers, and neighbors that were written to the judge (bolding is added):
- Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is a very close friend of mine. We grew up together in VA, and we spent most of elementary, middle, and high school together. From the day I knew Ahmed, I looked up to him. He was a role model, an example to his peers, he was an example of what a good person could and should be. He has almost all the virtues of the greatest men in history. He was always kind, always smiling, always giving, always fair, always honest, always helpful. He cared for and loved everyone in his community and beyond. He truly was an inspiring person, a self-less person. The community as a whole, no matter what religion each individual may be, lost a great man the day he was unjustly convicted. There are very very few people, with the same noble virtues as Ahmed.
- “Having known Ahmed for many years as his mathematics teacher, I am confident that he is innocent of all the charges of which he was convicted. As the best student I have ever taught, Ahmed was a very peaceful, loving, bright, and caring man. Anyone who interacted with him would conclude the same. Ahmed is the kind of person who would offer to help his peers, teach a child something new, and put others before himself. He is a loved member of the community who has worked to serve it with all his power. He is not a threat to anyone but is, rather, an asset to the community and society as a whole.
- I have known Ahmed for eight years, and I have been following his case since the beginning. Despite the jury’s verdict, I am still convinced that he is innocent of the charges that were brought against him. To me, it is painfully clear that the government’s case against Ahmed is just one of several where the government has employed extra-judicial means to persecute Arab Muslims for political ends. Although your Honor does not control the verdict on Ahmed’s case, you do have the power to mitigate this travesty by reducing his sentence. After the trial, you rightly denied the government’s request for a life sentence, noting how Ahmed’s actions did not result in one single actual victim. That fact must be taken into account. I ask you now to further reduce his sentence in light of this, or “ at the very least “ not increase it.
- I know Ahmed Abu Ali indirectly through my friendship with his mother and two sisters. If he’s anything like them then he’s one of the most honorable citizens of this country and is extremely loyal to it. He’s an asset to any community he lives in. He used to volunteer with the youth program to help the younger generation with their homework and guide them to higher morals. He’s a rare example of a truly honorable person in aspects of his life, and his family is very well known in the community for their generosity, honesty, knowledge and compassion.
- I have had the great pleasure of knowing Ahmed for the past six years. I first met Ahmed when I was thirteen years old and he was a youth coordinator while he remained in that capacity, his genuine enthusiasm for working with children, his maturity and kind hearted nature were an inspiration to everyone that he was around. Even after graduating highschool and attending college, he remained active in his community and continued to participate in various activities. When I was younger I thought of Ahmed as a great role model and teacher. As time passed a great bond grew, and I now count him as a dear friendâ€¦.I have never seen Ahmed to be confrontational or defensive. He has always had a pleasant disposition. In no way is he a threat to the general publicâ€¦Ahmed has never committed a criminal offense, has been unlawfully detained, and until this point [he has been] denied many of the civil liberties American citizens are entitled [to].
- In a letter from the mother of two of the students Ahmed had taught,â€œThe kids really enjoyed his company and always respected him. I have known Ahmed both professionally and personally and he is one of the most outstanding All American Boy I have known and I consider him as a son. Ahmed is a person who could not hurt a fly. After watching his all these years my analogy of him is as a lily in a pond.
- I first met Ahmed on the weekend I moved to Barcroft Hills, where Ahmed resided. That weekend, we suffered an icestorm that left us without power for several days. Ahmed was one of the several residents who volunteered to assist residents up and down stairs in our 10 floor building during the outageâ€¦[Ahmed]â€™s position was that Islam was a religion of peace, tolerance, and respect for your fellow man.In light of my association with and knowledge of Ahmed during the last 6 years, I find it difficult to believe the charges against him have merit. I believe him to be a positive influence on and a contributing member to his Barcroft Hills community. I believe that, pending trial, Ahmed’s place is at home with his family.
- I have known Ahmed since he was 16 years old and believe him to be an outstanding young man. His parents have raised him and his four siblings to be remarkable caring individuals. They are a wonderful asset to our community and participate at times of need by helping their neighbors. Ahmed has always served on committees that help our community in various ways and has always been ready to lend a helping hand to his fellow man. I have always respected Ahmed and he has always treated me with respect. We always talked about his studies and religion and he truly believes in PEACE BE UNTO OTHERS as his religion teaches. To believe that this young man is a threat to this country is ludicrous.