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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Maryland man who trained in Pakistan arrested in terror case involving congregant of Islamic Center of Boca Raton

Maryland man who trained in Pakistan arrested in terror case involving congregant of Islamic Center of Boca Raton

August 5, 2005

MIM: Dr. Rafiq Sabir, who worshipped at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton was arrested two months ago on charges of swearing allegiance to Al Qaeda and plotting to set up a terrorist training camp in New York together with Tarik Shahn a musician and martial arts instructor from New York. Investigators found the phone number of Mahmud Faruq Bret in Shah's address book and have charged him with planning to assist a terrorist organisation. According to most news reports Bret is a taxi driver -the CNN News wrote that he was a paramedic. Whatever his job, all the accounts claim that Bret trained in Lahore Pakistan and had been in contact with Seifullah Chapman who is a jailed member of the 'Virginia Jihad Network'.

Police arrest Maryland man on charge of providing support for terrorists


August 4, 2005

NEW YORK -- A Maryland man was charged with conspiracy to help a terrorist organization after he boasted that he went to Pakistan, attended terrorist training camps and agreed to provide whatever assistance was necessary, prosecutors said Thursday.

Mahmud Faruq Brent, of Gwynn Oak, Md., was charged after a New York musician arrested on similar charges in May agreed to meet with him and let the FBI record the encounter, according to a joint release by federal prosecutors, the FBI and New York police.

Brent was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan with conspiracy to provide material support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba organization, which the United States designated a terrorist organization in December 2001.

During the taped conversation at a hotel in Columbia, Md., Brent indicated he had traveled to Pakistan and into the mountains for training "and stuff" with "the mujahideen, the fighters," the release said.

He allegedly said that because of "treaties with Bush," it became dangerous for "foreigners" like him to stay in the camps, so he was moved from place to place.

Prosecutors said Brent indicated that he would never go back on his decision to go to the training camps operated by Lashkar and that it was "one of the better decisions in my life."

He also said he had agreed to provide whatever "assistance" he could there and expressed hope that Allah would bless him for his efforts, according to the release.

The investigation of Brent began, authorities said, after they found an address book with telephone numbers for him when they arrested Tarik Shah, 42, of New York.

Brent was being held in Manhattan and was scheduled to appear in court later Thursday. A telephone call to his lawyer was not immediately returned.

Shah pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges on June 28, and defense attorney Anthony Ricco called the case against his client "ridiculous."

Shah, a jazz musician and martial arts instructor, was charged with conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida after allegedly taking a formal oath of loyalty to the group along with Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, 50, who also was arrested in May.

According to prosecutors, the two American citizens had sworn the oath as they conspired to use their skills in martial arts and medicine to aid international terrorism. Sabir also has pleaded not guilty.

The government said an undercover FBI agent recorded a conversation before Brent's arrest in which Shah mentioned the names of several students including Brent.

The government said Shah told the agent that he planned to call Brent, a longtime student, to ask him to help make a demonstration video to be used for martial arts training of holy warriors.

After his arrest, Shah told investigators that he had trained Brent in martial arts while they lived in Beacon, N.Y., in 2001 and that they often watched martial arts training videos and other videos about holy war, or jihad, in Bosnia, the government said.

During this period, the government said, Brent introduced Shah to Seifullah Chapman in the Washington, D.C., area.

Chapman, of Alexandria, Va., was sentenced in June 2004 to 85 years in prison after he and two others were convicted of training for holy war against the United States by playing paintball games in the Virginia woods.



Maryland paramedic on terror count

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A Maryland paramedic has been arrested by U.S. federal authorities on charges of conspiring to provide material support to a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group linked to terrorist attacks in India and the disputed region of Kashmir.

According to a complaint filed by prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Mahmud Faruq Brent of Gwynn Oak, Md., near Baltimore, attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and received martial arts training from Tarik Shah, a New York jazz musician arrested in May on terrorism charges.

The complaint also alleges that Brent, also known as Mahmud Al Mutazzim, had contact with Seifullah Chapman, a member of the so-called "Virginia jihad group" that prosecutors said trained for attacks with paintball guns.

Chapman was found guilty in March 2004, along with two other men, on terrorism and firearms charges, including providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba. He is serving a 65-year prison sentence.

In December 2001, Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government, shortly after the Indian government blamed the group for an attack on the parliament in New Delhi that killed 12 people.

Law enforcement officials told CNN that Brent was arrested Thursday in Newark, N.J. His home in Maryland was also searched.

The complaint reveals that Shah, who has been charged with providing support to al Qaeda, helped prosecutors build their case against Brent.

On the day of his arrest, Shah called Brent and arranged to meet him at a hotel in Columbia, Md. During that meeting, which was recorded and videotaped by the FBI, Brent admitted to attending a camp in the mountains of Pakistan where he trained with the "mujahedeen," according to the complaint.

At the time, Shah was cooperating with prosecutors, according to the complaint against Brent. Now, "no cooperation agreement exists" with Shah, the complaint said.

Shah told the FBI that he trained Brent in martial arts when both lived in Beacon, N.Y., in 2001, and he also said Brent introduced him to Chapman, according to the complaint.

An address book found in Shah's possession contained a phone number listed in the name of Brent's wife and another number used in his passport application, as well as a number for a phone at a Virginia home where Chapman once lived, the complaint said.

In 2000, Brent -- using the name Mahmud Al Mutazzim -- requested an expedited passport to travel to a religious conference in Saudi Arabia, to which he attached a "letter of support" from Chapman, the complaint said. The passport showed that Brent arrived in Lahore, Pakistan, on Feb. 25, 2002 -- about five months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- and left on June 4, 2002, the complaint said.

During a conversation with an undercover FBI agent recorded prior to his arrest, Shah said several of his martial arts students had gone overseas to training camps in Afghanistan and Yemen, including "Mahmud Al Mutazzim," the complaint said.

The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group draws its members mainly from madrasas (religious schools) in Pakistan and veterans of the Afghanistan wars. The organization also has links to the al Qaeda terrorist group.

Under President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan has been a key ally of the U.S. war on terror, particularly along its border with Afghanistan, where elements of the ousted Taliban regime and al Qaeda are thought to operate.

The country has also been in the spotlight in recent weeks after it emerged that at least two of the July 7 London bombers had visited Pakistan in recent months and may have stayed at a madrasa in the country.

Last week, Musharraf said as part of his crackdown on Islamic extremism in madrasas, foreign students would be thrown out of the country.

He also said mosques would not "be allowed to be used for extremism or incitement to hatred."

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