Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema reportedly promoted appearances in 2003 by an attorney who was then under indictment and later convicted of providing “material support” for terrorists.
Sinema is currently in a tight race with GOP Congresswoman Martha McSally to fill the seat currently held by retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote in National Review that attorney Lynne Stewart was his main adversary representing Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the Blind Sheikh, in a criminal case involving the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Rahman was convicted of orchestrating the bombing that killed six people, including five Port Authority employees and a businessman. McCarthy also secured convictions against the Blind Sheikh on an unsuccessful plot to bomb other New York City landmarks, and for soliciting attacks on military installations.
Rahman was sentenced to life in prison.
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Stewart herself was later convicted of aiding Rahman to pass secret messages from the prisoner to the Islamic Group, an Egyptian terrorist organization he founded.
While Stewart was under criminal indictment in 2003, Sinema urged people in what Fox News described as a “now-closed Yahoo group” to attend two events where the controversial attorney was scheduled to speak.
“Prior to September 11th and the hastily enacted ‘Patriot Act,’ Lynne Stewart never would have been indicted at all,” the invite posted by Sinema read, according to Fox.
Stewart was eventually convicted and sentenced to 28 months in prison, but resentenced in 2010 to 10 years because the judge determined she committed perjury and lacked remorse after her first sentencing.
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The attorney was released in 2013 for health reasons and died in 2017.
The Hill reported that Sinema, 42, helped organize the Arizona Alliance for Peaceful Justice in the wake of 9/11.
The group labeled military action “an inappropriate response to terrorism” and advocated for using the legal system to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.
Sinema engaged in war protests, which became the subject of one of McSally’s campaign ads, arguing the choice was between a patriot and a protester.
Martha fought in combat to defend our country. Sinema organized anarchists and communists to protest against U.S. troops overseas. #AZSEN #azdebate pic.twitter.com/Bi0ngUPuiE
— McSally For Senate (@MarthaMcSally) October 16, 2018
At a debate between the candidates on Tuesday, McSally, who served as a fighter pilot in Afghanistan following 9/11, called on Sinema to apologize to her and fellow veterans for saying in a 2003 radio interview it was OK for an American to join the Taliban.
Sinema was asked about the Taliban comment by The Arizona Republic’s editorial board in an exchange published on Thursday.
“I think it is not appropriate to conflate opposing the war with opposing troops,” she said. “That was an offhand comment to direct the conversation back to what I wanted to talk about, which was my concerns about (the Afghanistan) war.”
Sinema said she still opposes the war in Afghanistan.
After trailing Sinema in polling for months, McSally has moved into a less than one percent lead in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
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