MICHAEL J. GARCIA, United States Attorney for the Southern Distri…

MICHAEL J. GARCIA, United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that RAFIQ SABIR was
convicted today of conspiracy to provide material support or
resources to the al Qaeda terrorist organization, and of
attempting to provide material support or resources to al Qaeda,
after pledging an oath of loyalty to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden
in a May 2005 ceremony secretly recorded by an undercover FBI

The evidence at trial proved that SABIR conspired with
his good friend, TARIK SHAH, to provide martial arts training and
medical assistance to al Qaeda, through a man whom they believed
to be a recruiter for the terrorist organization. The recruiter
was in fact an FBI agent, acting undercover, who recorded
numerous conversations involving SABIR and SHAH, including the
May 2005 ceremony in the Bronx. During that meeting, SABIR and
SHAH pledged “bayat,” or allegiance, to Osama bin Laden and al
Qaeda, and agreed to provide SABIR’s medical expertise and SHAH’s
martial arts expertise to train al Qaeda fighters.

From September 2003 through May 2005, SHAH engaged in
multiple meetings and conversations, first with a confidential
source (the “CS”) and later with the FBI undercover agent (the
“UC”). In these conversations, the vast majority of which were
recorded, SHAH discussed his desire and intent to aid al Qaeda,
and repeatedly discussed his friend, who was a doctor, as being
someone who shared his desire.

For example, SHAH repeatedly
indicated his desire to train Muslim “brothers” in the martial
arts to help them wage jihad, regularly discussed his desire to
find people who were willing to press the fight, and, when
meeting the UC for the first time, offered himself and SABIR as a
“package.” SHAH also took steps to find locations where jihad
training could be conducted and weapons could be machined.

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