Two American citizens convicted of conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda have been sentenced in Manhattan federal court.
Rafiq Abdus Sabir, 53, a former New York doctor who moved to Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on November 28, 2007, for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Specifically, Sabir agreed to provide "medical support to wounded jihadists," according to court documents.
Tariq Ibn Osman Shah, 44, a martial arts instructor and jazz musician raised in New York, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on November 7, 2007, for conspiring to support Al Qaeda by providing martial arts training.
Authorities recorded numerous telephone conversations between the two men during the course of a 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.
According to the recorded conversations presented at the trial, Shah discussed his desire to train "Muslim brothers" in martial arts to wage jihad, as well as to find additional people to fight. FBI agents videotaped Shah and the informant visiting a Long Island warehouse, where he wanted to conduct the jihad training. Court documents also revealed that Shah discussed teaching others how to use chemicals, explosives, firearms, AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades.
Sabir told the undercover agent that he would be working at a hospital in Saudi Arabia and gave his phone number in code to the agent so that "brothers" in Saudi Arabia could get in touch with him.
Shah and Sabir, both U.S. citizens, pledged their allegiance to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in front of the informant at a meeting in the Bronx in 2005, according to Shah's plea agreement and evidence presented at the trial. Shah and Sabir committed 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." During this meeting Shah also told the informant that they had previously attempted to attend a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.
The defendants met when Sabir attended Columbia University's medical school. Both men were kicked out of a Bronx mosque after they tried to teach urban warfare in the mosque, according to court documents.
Two other defendants in the case – Abdulrahman Farhane and Mahmud Faruq Brent – were previously sentenced to 13 and 15 years, respectively. Farhane introduced the undercover informant to Shah, according to court documents. Brent received martial arts training from Shah "as part of the conspiracy to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba," a U.S. designated terrorist organization, according to court documents.