Wednesday, May 23, 2007

West Boca Raton Doctor, Rafiq Abdus Sabir, convicted!

So, what do a D.C. cabbie, a Brooklyn bookstore owner, a Boca Raton emergency room Doctor and a N.Y. jazz musician/martial artist, have in common? Not much, you'd think, on the surface. But, in a ceremony in a Bronx apartment (in May 2005), the Doctor, Rafiq Abdus Sabir, and his best friend, Tariq Shah, the Jazz Musician, pledged their unwavering loyalty to Bin Laden and Al-Qaida. Sabir, who was working with a hospital in Saudi Arabia at the time, also vowed to treat injured Al-Qaida fighters (so they could return to Iraq to fight another day) after an undercover FBI agent, posing as an Al-Qaida recruiter, suggested that Sabir could be of use. The beauty of it all: it was ALL caught on audio tape. The other 2 happened to be part of the same FBI sting operation, that netted the 4 arrests.

The cabbie, the bookstore owner and Shah all pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, and settled for jail sentences ranging from 13 to 15 years, but Sabir's case went to trial, and he was just convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

In spite of evidence to the contrary, he tried to weasel out of a conviction by claiming stupidity. He told the jury he thought he was pledging support to all his Muslim brothers, not Bin Laden, and stated that he had no idea "Sheik Osama" actually meant Osama Bin Laden. Yeah, right. He said the pledge was in Arabic and, as he's not fluent, he wasn't fully aware of what he was pledging about or to. [snort]

And, his testimony was full of contradictions. First of all, he said at one point,
"I am not a member of al-Qaida. It is wrong to way I'm going to align myself with al-Qaida. That is just not me.....I never had any thoughts about them whatsoever and all the nasty things they have done around the world, killing people, innocent people mostly and the big atrocities they have done around the world."
But at another point, during the trial, under cross-examination, he admitted
to a history of family violence, a fascination with weapons and a belief that good Muslims should engage in armed jihad, or holy war. U.S. Attorney Victor Hou asked Sabir about an audiotape found at his house, in which a religious lecturer said God would "destroy the disbelievers." "That's God's word. I have to believe in it," Sabir said. They also discussed passages from religious books. One said Jews should be expelled from the Arabian peninsula. Another said Muslims are obligated to obey an imam who declares war against nonbelievers. Hou asked Sabir whether he agreed with both passages, and he said yes -- but added that Muslims are only required to follow such instructions from a legitimate religious authority. Hou pressed him further: "You believe that you must participate in armed jihad, if you get a chance to?" "Yes," Sabir answered, but he said only in a legitimate conflict. The prosecutor also brought up writings in which Sabir expressed disgust for American capitalism and his displeasure with the government after it tried to collect tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.
So, we have the Doctor, the Jazz Musician, the Cabbie and the Bookstore Owner all guilty of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Seemingly ordinary people with jobs, some with families. Sabir, a Polygamist, had 4 wives, although only 2 at one time. Any of them could have been your next door neighbour. They were someone's next door neighbour. I find that monumentally scary, particularly because they weren't your garden variety, middle-eastern type terrorists. These were ordinary folk. Sabir was a Columbia University-educated doctor. Shah a jazz musician, martial artist expert.

Sabir still insists he was not cognizant of the fact that he was pledging his loyalty to Al-Qaida, but the tape is incontrovertible proof. I don't buy his ignorance. And I've talked before about taking responsibility for our actions. If you're gonna play with fire, then you better be willing to get burned.

And, as the saying goes: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.......

Although in this case... it 'aint AFLAC!


Panhandle Poet said...

So, are you saying the Doc was a quack??!

Pat Jenkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Jenkins said...

Incognito i am here to give you my sympathy and support!!! if you must daily go into the theater and work with thesbians who actaully want an Gore/Obamma ticket, you truly need all the encouragemnt one can muster. You’re in our thoughts!!!!!

MUD said...

Stupid is as stupid does and that is no defense when it comes to illegal activities. Why don't they remember they Pledged Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America? People like this should just be sent home immediately. Sending them to a US prison at the cost of $25,00 to $30,00 a year is a burden we shouldn't have to pay. Forced immigration with a permanent ban on any visit to the US should be in order. MUD

John Kaiser said...

Wow. I hadn't even heard about this. Interesting.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

My what a surprise, especially in light of that "Good News" Pew Study.

Papa J said...

There are many people that feel they would be willing to die for God. It is a romantic notion after all. It is admirable to have strong convictions when you are surrounded by so many without any convictions at all.

I think we are wasting efforts in this country trying to set anyone up like this. I don't defend the doc's stupidity. Obviously it is intolerable. I just think our efforts would be best served focusing on people who already have ties (or at least are already under suspicion of having ties) to Al Queda, not inventing connections for them.

To quote Monty Python: No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Incognito said...

Yeah, I guess so, PAN. :-)

Thank you PAT. I'll take all the good thoughts, cos it takes a lot of effort and energy to set them straight. It's exhausting, but they usually see my point, in the end. though not always. :-)

I agree, MUD, but most of them are probably not here legally. I think this doctor was born here, but I could be wrong. So where do you send him. But I think that if they prefer that way of life they should leave.

Hi JOHN K, thanks for the visit.:-)

BCF: I know, cos who knows how many of those people in the Pew Study lied about their true feelings. Scary!

Incognito said...

Hey PAPA J: I think stopping it in its tracks before it becomes a problem is as important as dealing with something that is already a problem. Who knows what these people might have done.It's like removing a cancerous or pre-cancerous growth before it becomes cancer.Just my 2 feeble 2 cents.