NEW YORK “” A Florida doctor was convicted Monday of providing material support to terrorists by agreeing to treat injured Al Qaeda fighters so they could return to Iraq to battle Americans.
Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, 52, was convicted in Manhattan federal court after a three-week trial that featured testimony by him and Ali Soufan, an FBI agent who posed as an Al Qaeda recruiter in a sting operation that led to four arrests….
The charges against the Harlem-born Sabir, including conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, carry a potential maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
The verdict came after jurors heard audio tapes of a May 2005 ceremony in a Bronx apartment in which Sabir and his best friend, Tariq Shah, a martial arts expert and jazz musician, pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda and, the government alleged, Usama bin Laden….
Sabir, of Boca Raton, Fla., testified at trial that Shah never told him he was talking with an Al Qaeda recruiter. At the pledge ceremony, Soufan mispronounced Al Qaeda more than a dozen times, Sabir said. He also said he did not know “sheik Usama” meant bin Laden.
Sure. Sabir meant, uh, Al Kida, a fellow from the old neighborhood — remember Al? And Sheikh Usama…Usama Smith! That’s it! Yeah! Sheikh Usama Smith from Brooklyn, I mean, Biloxi!
(I really do know someone who hopes the government catches that “Al Quayda” guy, because Mr. Quayda is a very bad man — but I’m glad the jury didn’t buy this sort of thing from Sabir.)