CAIR lawyer for FL doctor indicted for conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda says client thought "Jihad recruiter was religious leader "
Saudi funded front group for Hamas paying for Sabir's defense is defendant in 9/11 terrorism lawsuit
MIM: The Islamist 'parallel universe' is no where more evident then in the statement by a Khurrum Walid, the CAIR lawyer for Boca Raton Al Qaeda arrestee Rafiq Sabir, which he uses to mitigate the circumstances where his client took an oath of allegience to Osama Bin Laden by saying that Sabir thought the undercover agent posing as an Al Qaeda recruiter was " a religous leader not a terrorist recruiter". Given the fact that Khurrum Walid is the legal advisor for the Council on American Islamic Relations, who are defendants in a 9/11 terrorism lawsuit, and( has several of their officals in jail on terrorism charges) the idea that thinking a terrorist recruiter was a religious figure as being a mitigating circumstance is easy to explain. Terrorism is not mentioned in the Koran as an obligation for Muslims, Jihad is. To claim that Sabir thought that he talking to religous figure about fighting Jihad would enable him to claim that he has nothing to do with terrorism.
A federal grand jury in New York indicted a suburban Boca Raton doctor and a Bronx jazz musician Monday on charges of conspiring to provide material support and resources to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.
Both were arrested late last month. They face up to 15 years in prison, if convicted. Their cases are pending in New York before Judge Loretta Preska. Their arraignment will be at 4:30 p.m. today. Federal prosecutors say Dr. Rafiq Sabir planned to use his skills as a healer and his contempt for America to aid "the worst enemy of our country," Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.
Sabir's defense attorney, Khurrum Wahid, could not be reached late Monday, but in the past he has said the charges are "absolutely untrue."
Sabir and Tarik Shah swore a loyalty oath to the terrorist network in a Bronx apartment on May 20, investigators say.
The government alleges that, during the course of an investigation that began in 2003, Sabir and Shah presented themselves to an undercover agent posing as an Al-Qaeda recruiter as a "package deal" to help Muslim "brothers" wage jihad, holy war. Shah would provide the martial arts training and Sabir would give medical assistance, according to the complaint.
Federal prosecutors said that, when investigators searched Sabir's suburban Boca Raton home, they found the remains of charred papers in a grill on the back patio that appeared to have Arabic writing. They also found swords and knives.
FBI special agent Kevin Ranieri has testified that he listened to a tape of the May 20 meeting of the undercover agent, Shah and Sabir. He said the men took the loyalty oath in Arabic, but there were pauses when an explanation was given in English, too. At the end, the men embraced each other, he said.
Boca area doctor accused in terrorism plot pleads not guilty
By John Coté
Men plehttp://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/29/terror.suspects/ad not guilty to aiding al Qaeda
From CNN's Mary Snow and Phil Hirschkorn
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Two U.S. citizens have pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda.
Tarik Shah, a jazz musician in New York, and his longtime friend Rafiq Sabir, a Florida doctor, entered the pleas in a Manhattan federal court Tuesday.
It was the first joint court appearance for Shah, 50, and Sabir, 42, who were arrested in New York and Boca Raton, Florida, respectively during Memorial Day weekend after a two-year probe.(Full story)
Both remain in custody. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska has not set a trial date. Their next court appearance is scheduled for September 6.
If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in federal prison -- and a possible $250,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, Shah and Sabir allegedly engaged in "multiple meetings and conversations" with a confidential source and an undercover FBI agent acting as an al Qaeda recruiter.
The criminal complaint documents dozens of phone calls between the two men, with spikes in frequency after Shah's meetings with the informant.
During the final conversation in a Bronx apartment on May 20, the men allegedly pledged their support and loyalty to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, prosecutors say.
The criminal complaint alleged that Shah, a martial arts instructor, volunteered to recruit "Muslim brothers" and train them in hand-to-hand combat. The complaint also alleged he scoped out a windowless warehouse on Long Island as a venue to conduct training and once demonstrated how prayer beads could be used to strangle a person.
Sabir, the complaint alleged, said that he would treat wounded jihadists in Saudi Arabia, where has worked at a hospital and was planning to return this summer.
Defense attorneys have said the charges are ill conceived.
"It's still a manufactured case against a person who had no previous disposition to commit such a crime or any crime," Shah's attorney, Anthony Ricco, said.
"Ultimately we have a person here who is charged with wanting to give karate lessons to al Qaeda members," Ricco said, calling the idea "ridiculous."
"We fully expect that he will be vindicated," said Sabir's attorney, Martin Stolar, calling his client "a hard-working doctor and a family man who has been ensnared in an FBI sting operation."
"He is not a terrorist and does not have any ties to any terrorist organization or ideas," Stolar said.
In her first public comments about the case Tuesday, 38-year-old Zakkiyya Shah said she is still "startled" and "confused" about the FBI raid that led to her husband's arrest.
A convert to Islam, Shah said she worried that their religion made them a target for domestic terrorism investigations.
She said the FBI informant, who had reported conversations with her husband as stemming to 2003, was a fellow Muslim receiving bass lessons from her husband until he "betrayed" him. Prosecutors concede the informant has a criminal record for robbery.
The FBI alleges that her husband listened to speeches by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and in the presence of an undercover agent, pledged loyalty to him and to "jihad," or holy war. The informant quoted Shah as saying being a musician was a great cover.
"Never heard it, never heard him say that," his wife said, calling the cover allegation "not true."
She acknowledged her husband did discuss bin Laden from time to time, but noted that most Americans did. "Who can't talk about Osama bin Laden? He's on the news, he's in the newspapers, he's in Newsweek, he's in Time."
The couple met after she completed a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Navy.
CNN's Joel Kliksberg contributed to this report