Two Men Arrested For Conspiring to Help Terrorists
Posted: June 3, 2005
Two men, who federal authorities say wanted to turn an empty warehouse in the Bronx into a training camp for would-be Al Qaeda terrorists, were ordered held without bail following their arraignments last month in Florida and New York.
Tariq Shah, 42, and Rafiq Sabir, 50, both U.S. citizens, are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda. Neither defendant entered a plea at their federal court appearances on May 31.
According to the criminal complaint unsealed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Shah, a Bronx musician and martial arts expert, sought to train Al Qaeda members in hand-to-hand combat. The complaint also alleges that Sabir, a former New York doctor who moved to Boca Raton in 2002, wanted to provide medical assistance to terrorists.
In the course of the two-year investigation, which began when Shah and Sabir started meeting with an undercover agent posing as an Al Qaeda operative to discuss how they could help Al Qaeda, authorities recorded numerous telephone conversations between the two men, according to the complaint.
During a May 20 meeting in the Bronx, according to a statement released by federal officials, Shah and Sabir allegedly pledged their allegiance to Al Qaeda, committing themselves to “the path of the Holy War, to the oath of secrecy, and to abide by the directives of Al Qaeda and its leaders.”
FBI agents videotaped Shah and the informant visiting a Long Island warehouse, allegedly to see if it could be used as a possible terrorist training camp, according to court documents. The documents further claim that Shah discussed opening a martial arts school to train Muslims in the use of chemicals, explosives, firearms, AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades.
Court documents also claim that Shah met Sabir when Sabir attended Columbia University’s medical school and that both men were kicked out of a Bronx mosque after they tried to teach urban warfare in the mosque.
Sabir vowed to treat wounded Jihadists in Saudi Arabia, where he was scheduled to fly on June 2 prior to his arrest, officials said.
Both men face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.