Two Americans Charged With Aiding Al Qaeda
Two American Muslims have been charged with aiding al Qaeda terrorists.
Authorities said Sunday that Rafiq Abdus Sabir, 50, a Boca Raton physician, and Tarik Shah, 42, a self-described martial arts expert in New York, conspired to treat and train terrorists. Both are American citizens. Both men were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court, Shah in New York and Sabir in Florida, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney David Kelley in Manhattan.
It was not immediately clear who would represent them in court. If convicted, each man faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The one-count complaint claims the men allegedly took an oath pledging their allegiance to Al Qaeda. The government said the men engaged in multiple recorded conversations with a confidential source and an FBI agent posing as an Al Qaeda operative. During the conversations, Shah also described how he and Sabir in 1998 tried to get to training camps in Afghanistan and said they were a “package” deal, Kelley said in the release.
Link via an e-mailer who notes, “We used to execute traitors, now the max is 15 years. Meanwhile, almost everything else has been elevated to the possibility of felony status.” Indeed, it’s amazing that we routinely sentence people to life in prison under “three time loser” laws for committing crimes of far less consequence than this.
Update: LaShawn Barber agrees.