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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > CAIR lawyer for FL doctor indicted for conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda says client thought "Jihad recruiter was religious leader "

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
June 29, 2005

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.

Boca doctor indicted in terror case
By Scott McCabe
Palm Beach Post Tuesday, June 28, 2005


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
Staff Writer

June 29, 2005

A Boca Raton-area doctor and a New York jazz musician both pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of conspiring to provide material support to the al-Qaida terrorist organization.

The arraignment was Dr. Rafiq Sabir's first New York court appearance in the case after he was arrested in Florida and transferred earlier this month.

When U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska asked Sabir how he pleaded to an indictment unsealed Monday, he said simply, "innocent."

Federal prosecutors contend Sabir, 50, and his close friend, Tarik Ibn Osman Shah, 42, offered their services as a "package" after they met May 20 at a Bronx apartment with an undercover FBI agent posing as an al-Qaida recruiter.

Sabir would treat "wounded jihadists" in Saudi Arabia while working as a contract doctor at a military base. Shah, a self-described martial-arts expert, would provide hand-to-hand combat training to al-Qaida members, according to a federal complaint.

Shah also allegedly canvassed potential terrorist training sites in New York to teach "brothers how to use swords and machetes" and expressed an interest in learning about "chemical stuff," explosives and assault rifles.

Both men were arrested last month and face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor Hou told Preska Tuesday that the government's evidence was "voluminous" and would take eight weeks to turn over to the defense.

Hou said that during two searches, investigators recovered weapons and that the government had amassed a host of material that includes tape-recorded conversations of the defendants.

Martin Stollar, who is defending Sabir with former Miami public defender Khurrum Wahid, said as he left the courthouse that his client, "is an innocent man who was ensnared in an FBI sting.

"He has no ties to any terrorist organization or any terrorist ideas."

Once the evidence was handed over, Wahid said he would likely ask the judge to drop the charge against Sabir for lack of evidence.

"Once we have the May 20th audio tape we will probably move to dismiss the indictment," Wahid said after the arraignment.

"We don't believe this rises to the level of conspiracy to materially support terrorists."

Wahid at an earlier hearing challenged the assertion that Sabir had sworn allegiance to al-Qaida, questioning the language used during the recorded May 20 meeting.

Wahid suggested Sabir thought the undercover agent was a religious leader, not a terrorist recruiter.

FBI agent Kevin Ranieri testified earlier that the oath to al-Qaida was administered in Arabic with English translation and the intent was clear. Following the oath, all three men embraced, according to the complaint.

Sabir was arrested May 28 at the home he rented in the gated Villa San Remo community west of Boca Raton. Investigators found charred documents with Arabic writing in the grill on Sabir's patio, prosecutors have said.

After being transferred to New York, Sabir was being housed in the high-security wing of the federal jail in Manhattan that was "essentially on around-the-clock lockdown," Wahid said. "It is very emotionally taxing on him."

Newsday contributed to this report.

John Coté can be reached at [email protected] or 561-832-6550.


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.

Wife speaks

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

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