US Attorney Reports Martial Arts Instructor Sentenced to 15 Years For Providing Support To Al Qaeda

LAWFUEL – The US Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that TARIK SHAH, a martial arts instructor from the Bronx, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 15 years in prison for conspiring to
provide material support or resources to the al Qaeda terrorist

The sentence was imposed by United States District
Judge LORETTA A. PRESKA. SHAH pleaded guilty on April 4, 2007,
admitting that he agreed to aid al Qaeda by training their
terrorists in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat with weapons.
According to the documents filed in the case and statements made
during SHAH’s guilty plea:

From 2003 through part of May 2005, SHAH engaged in
multiple meetings and conversations with a confidential source
and, later, with an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation
agent (the “UC”) who SHAH believed to be a recruiter for al
Qaeda. During the meetings and conversations, the vast majority
of which were recorded, SHAH discussed his desire and intent to
aid al Qaeda, repeatedly indicating his desire to train Muslim
“brothers” in the martial arts to help them wage jihad, and also
regularly discussed his desire to find people who were willing to
press the fight. SHAH also took steps to find locations where
jihad training could be conducted and where he could make

On May 20, 2005, SHAH met with the UC and, under the
impression that the UC represented al Qaeda, pledged “bayat,” or
allegiance, to USAMA BIN LADEN and al Qaeda by taking an oath of
secrecy and agreeing to abide by the directives of al Qaeda and
its leaders, including USAMA BIN LADEN and AYMAN AL ZAWAHIRI.
SHAH also agreed to provide his martial arts expertise to train
al Qaeda fighters. In his conversation with the UC, SHAH stated
that he had been “preparing this for a long time.”

SHAH has been detainedsince May 29, 2005. SHAH, 44,
formerly lived in the Bronx, New York.
Two other defendants in this case, MAHMUD FARUQ BRENT,
a/k/a “Mahmud Al Mutazzim,” and ABDULRAHMAN FARHANE, were
sentenced by Judge PRESKA to 15 years and 13 years, respectively,
following their guilty pleas to related charges. A third codefendant,
RAFIQ SABIR, was convicted after a jury trial in May
2007 of conspiring to provide and providing material support to
the al Qaeda terrorist organization. SABIR is expected to be
sentence by Judge PRESKA on November 14, 2007.

Mr. GARCIA praised the efforts of the New York Joint
Terrorism Task Force, including the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the New York City Police Department, for their
extraordinary efforts in the investigation and prosecution of
this case.

Assistant United States Attorneys JENNIFER G. RODGERS
and KARL METZNER are in charge of the prosecution.
07-274 ###

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