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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Islamic Center of Boca Raton Al Qaeda plotter was tracked for years - Former Imam Dremali 'left' FL for Des Moines in Feb 2005

Islamic Center of Boca Raton Al Qaeda plotter was tracked for years - Former Imam Dremali 'left' FL for Des Moines in Feb 2005

Why no comment on terror arrest from present ICBR Imam Muneer Arafat?
May 31, 2005

MIM: Muneer Arafat, the present Imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, has been conspicuously absent from the media. Which begs the question as to why he has not seen fit to comment or issue a statement on the arrest of one of his congregants . Former ICBR Imam Ibrahim Dremali, left Boca Raton in February of 2005 and is now the Imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines, Iowa. Dremali ran the mosque from 1998 until his departure which took place one month after it became public knowledge that Sabir could be under surveillance by law enforcement. It is interesting to note that Dremali left behind a thriving mosque, newly opened school, professor's position at Broward Community College, and job at a Coastal planning office in Boca Raton, to run a small reportedly cash strapped mosque in Des Moines.

A month before Sabir's arrest former ICBR Imam Dremali was the subject of an article in the Des Moines Register in which he implied that he had 'fled' to Iowa from Boca Raton. The article was entitled:

"Imam his family find refuge in Des Moines Mosque - He denies terror allegations follow him from Florida" recounted that :

"...he (Dremali) was also dogged in Florida by groups that accused him and his mosque of having links to terrorist organizations, an activity and intent that he has repeatedly denied..." http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050418/LIFE05/504180354/1039/LIFE

Dremali's claims to the Register were debunked in an article by the director of MIM and editor of Pipeline News entitled

"Deconstructing Dremali" which proved that Dremalis claims of neither him nor his mosque having links to terrorist organisations ' was untrue. Saturday's arrest of Dr. Rafiq Sabir on charges of 'providing material support for terrorists is furlther proof of Dremali's dissembling.

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/581

For more information on the Islamic Center of Boca Raton and Ibrahim Dremali see:

New Jihadi on the block- Imam Ibrahim Dremali leaves Boca Raton for Des Moines

New Islamic Center planned in Sunrise

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/257

Boca Raton City of Terror

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=7982

Terror U - Parts I & II

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/389

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Neighbors knew little about accused terrorist sympathizer Rafiq Sabir. But they knew someone was under surveillance by agents in a black sedan.

BY SCOTT HIAASEN AND WANDA J. DeMARZO

shiaasen@herald.com

The nation's war against terrorism came to Boca Raton in a large black sedan that idled for days at a time in a cul-de-sac in Villa San Remo, a gated community on the landscaped fringe of the Everglades.

Inside the car, federal agents watched the home of Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, an emergency-room physician and suspected sympathizer of Osama bin Laden. Outside, neighbors eyed the agents parked at the end of their street, and wondered who their target might be.

Inside the car, federal agents watched the home of Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, an emergency-room physician and suspected sympathizer of Osama bin Laden. Outside, neighbors eyed the agents parked at the end of their street, and wondered who their target might be.

'It was the talk of the [homeowners' association] meeting," said Louise Albright, who lives on Via Giulia, a few houses down from Sabir and his family. "The big black car was pretty obvious."

The mystery ended Saturday morning when Sabir, 50, was arrested in a government sting and charged with one count of conspiring to provide support to al Qaeda, bin Laden's terrorist group. Investigators said Sabir promised to provide medical treatment to wounded terrorists in Saudi Arabia, while a codefendant, Tarik Shah, planned to open a terrorist training facility in New York.

Conversations with the two men were recorded by a confidential informant and an undercover FBI agent pretending to be an al Qaeda recruiter, records show.

Sabir was scheduled to fly to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, prosecutors said. He is now being held at the Palm Beach County Jail, and is scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate in Fort Pierce today, where he is likely to enter a plea to the charge. Shah is in custody in New York.

Sabir was largely unknown to his neighbors at Villa San Remo, where he has lived with his girlfriend, Arleen Morgan, and their two sons for more than two years after moving from New York.

"They pretty much kept to themselves," Albright said.

The allegations left Morgan's stepsister in disbelief.

"She has not called us, and we haven't heard anything," said Colleen Morgan of Norwalk, Conn. "I can't believe that they think he's a terrorist."

Federal investigators first became interested in Sabir in 2002, when police pulled his car over outside a mosque in Beacon, N.Y., where residents complained of "suspicious activity," according to the indictment. Sabir, a U.S. citizen, was driving a car with Florida license plates and carrying a North Carolina driver's license.

A year later, Sabir's name reemerged as agents began investigating Shah, a martial-arts aficionado and jazz musician with ties to a terrorist group in Virginia. Shah told an informant that he wanted to train "jihadists" in hand-to-hand combat, and described Sabir as his partner, court records show.

Shah and Sabir then met with an undercover agent posing as a terrorist recruiter. The agent asked both men to take a holy oath to bin Laden as a gesture of loyalty. Both men agreed, according to the indictment.

On the recordings, Sabir said he and Shah tried to visit terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in 1998, the indictment says.

Investigators said Sabir traveled in Saudi Arabia over the past eight months. According to the indictment, Sabir said he worked at a Saudi military base in Riyadh. He also complained that he was questioned for hours after returning to the United States.

Sabir is described as an emergency-room doctor who once worked at several hospitals around New York and New Jersey. Records show that Sabir has been wallowing for years in debt, including a $354,000 claim from the federal government in 1992, and a $47,000 judgment filed by the New York Tax Commission this year.

Sabir received his Florida medical license in May 2003, records show. It was unclear Monday where he worked in Palm Beach County.

Sabir was once an assistant imam at a mosque in the Bronx, but he was kicked out after inviting Shah to offer instruction on "urban warfare," according to the indictment.

Sabir is a member of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton. Its spokesman, Dan McBride, could not be reached for comment on Monday.

This report was supplemented with information from The New York Daily News.

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/314628p-269121c.html

Shocked by terror plot bust
BY NANCY DILLON and CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

A Long Island teenager described yesterday how FBI agents "with their guns drawn" burst into her mother's Florida home and hauled off the woman's live-in lover - a doctor accused of trying to help Al Qaeda.

Shayna Parchment said pounding on the door roused her from her slumber early Saturday - and that the arrest of Dr. Rafiq Sabir plunged her mother into a nightmare.

"She doesn't want to believe it," Shayna, 15, told the Daily News. "I was shocked. I never thought somebody so close would have something to do with [Al Qaeda]."

Sabir, a 50-year-old physician, and his pal Tarik Shah, 38, a self-proclaimed martial arts expert from the Bronx, are set to be arraigned today on terrorism charges. Both are U.S. citizens.

In a criminal complaint, the feds accused Shah of conspiring to set up a terror training camp in a Bronx basement - and even scouting out aLong Island warehouse where he could teach "the brothers how to use swords and machetes."

Shah allegedly told a G-man posing as an Al Qaeda recruiter that Sabir's "emergency room experience would be needed for brothers in training who get hurt," the complaint states.

Both allegedly swore allegiance to Al Qaeda and terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden.

Shayna, who lives in Hempstead with her grandparents, said Sabir and Shah "have been friends for years."

She said she was visiting her mother, Arleen Morgan, in Boca Raton to take a family photograph with Sabir and thecouple's sons, Isa, 6, and Amir, 4.

"The whole family was taking glamour shots at a studio," she said. "We ate dinner and watched TV. It was very late."

At 6 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents pounded on the door.

"They said, 'You're under arrest,' to Rafiq," she said. "After that, they searched the whole house and took his laptop computer and all his papers."

Shayna recalled that after the 9/11 attacks, Sabir insisted that "Muslims would never do that."

"He's really Muslim," she said. "He doesn't like to celebrate anything. He doesn't even like to take pictures."

Shayna's grandfather Lloyd Francis, 63, said Sabir once lived with them while working at city and Long Island hospitals. "The side we know is the helpful side," Francis said.

Sabir put Morgan through nursing school and didn't try to force Islam on the family, Francis said. "But sometimes he would be here and we would have a picture of Jesus on the wall and he would turn it around," he added.

As for Shah, Francis described him as "sneaky." "I guess Rafiq figured, 'He's my best friend, so I'll do what my best friend does,'" he said.

Sabir and Morgan sold their home in Westbury, L.I., in 2000 and bought another home in Florida two years later. Sabir, who studied at City College and Columbia University's medical school, still owes $500,000 in student loans.

Christine Bauer, who bought their Long Island home, said the bill collectors began calling after the couple left town. "We knew they were strange," she said. "They moved at night."

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