Christian Action Network

Daily Terrorism News; WebPage @ www.ChristianAction.Org

Doctor in Terror Trial Defends Himself

(AP) A Florida doctor accused of pledging to support terrorists testified Wednesday that he never believed he was agreeing to aid al-Qaida when he took an oath from an FBI agent the government says was posing as a terror recruiter. 

“I am not a member of al-Qaida,” Rafiq Abdus Sabir told the jury during his trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. “It is wrong to kill.” 

He said there was “no way I’m going to align myself with al-Qaida.” 

“That is just not me,” he said. “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.” 

Sabir was arrested after an FBI sting operation and charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization, a charge that could carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years if he is convicted. 

On Monday, FBI agent Ali Soufan testified that he administered an oath in May 2004 to Sabir and his good friend, jazz musician and martial arts expert Tarik Shah, in which both men pledged their support to al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden. 

A tape recording of the pledge ceremony and Soufan’s testimony are the centerpiece of the government’s case against Sabir, who is standing trial alone after three co-defendants Shah, a Washington, D.C., cab driver and a Brooklyn bookstore owner pleaded guilty and agreed to sentences between 13 and 15 years in prison. 

Sabir said he thought the oath was a pledge to support Muslim brothers, meaning all Muslims, and it was the traditional oath given for centuries to Muslims who wanted to strengthen their commitment to their faith. 

He said he never heard bin Laden’s name and, “I did not think al-Qaida was involved in this in any way, shape or form.” When Soufan mentioned “Sheik Osama” on the tape, Sabir never thought it referred to bin Laden because “Osama” is a common name and “sheik” can only be used to refer to someone who has received religious training, which bin Laden has not, the doctor testified. 

Sabir said that when he made his religious pledge, known as pledging bayat, he had “no idea what I was getting into.” 

“I had no idea what this bayat was going to cost me,” he added. “I had no idea it was going to end up in something like this.”

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May 10, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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