By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz
May 22, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Dr. Rafiq Sabir was convicted yesterday on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda.
Sabir was secretly filmed making the pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda - the bayat - in May 2005.
As we wrote on May 31, 2005:
On Saturday May 28th the FBI arrested a member of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton - Dr. Rafiq Sabir - on charges which included aiding al-Qaeda and plotting to open a terrorist training camp in Long Island.
Dr. Sabir had been under surveillance for years while a member of the Islamic Center and its spokesman - Daniel McBride - stated that he was a friend of the terrorist suspect."
During Sabirs trial U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia proved that he conspired with a friend, Tarik Shah working with a man whom they believed to be an al-Qaeda recruiter to provide martial arts training and render medical assistance to members of the terrorist group.
Unbeknownst to the conspirators, the al-Qaeda recruiter" was an informant. Sabir, a graduate of Columbia University faces a maximum sentence of thirty years.
Sabir was a congregant at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton [ICBR] and is another example of how American mosques have become radicalized.
ICBR has figured prominently in high level terror prosecutions. Several of the ICBR founders and trustees had links to Sami Al Arian, ICBR key player Bassem Al Halabi, was implicated for exporting thermal imaging equipment to Syria, and the mosque spokesman [a convert to Islam] fled to Saudi Arabia in 2003. The current spokesman, Dan McBride was arrested for tax fraud.
Such events serve to explain the hasty retreat from the ICBR by its former imam, Ibrahim Dremali, a controversial figure in his own right.
Imam Dremali has a long history of radical Muslim activity and anti-Semitic statements. In 2004 Dremali eulogized the father of dirty bomb fugitive - Adnan Shukrijumah - with the words "He [Shukrijumah] had a positive effect on people."
Shukrijumah was named as "Mohammed Atta's successor by law enforcement.
In February 2005 Dremali suddenly left his position as imam of the 7-acre Boca Raton Islamic Center [though Dremali has repeatedly denied that his mosque was linked to terrorists, within weeks of his leaving Boca, Sabir was arrested] to take over the tiny and reportedly cash strapped Islamic Center of Des Moines, Iowa.
In news coverage Dremali casts himself as a hapless 'refugee' who was hounded out of Boca Raton, because he was a Muslim, feigning tears of relief at finding peace and quiet in Iowa.
Born in Gaza when it was still controlled by Egypt [Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, the Eastern sector of Jerusalem and the Golan heights were all liberated by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war]. Dremali later moved to Egypt where he was educated in Islamic religious theology and geology at Al Azhar University.
While there Dremali started his religious training. Dr. Ibrahim Dremali -Sheikh Ibrahim - has a degree in Sharia from Al-Azhar University and a PhD in Geology. Al Azhar University was also the alma mater of Bin Laden's mentor Abdullah Azzam as well as being a center of Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad activities which included the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
Dremali fled to the US where he continued his education in geology. In 1998 Dremali co-founded the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, together with FAU professors Bassem Al Halabi and Khalid Hamza, and becoming its Imam.
It didn't take Dremali long to channel his Islamism into political activism in the United States. He participated in a series of pro-Palestinian demonstrations that were held across from the Israeli Embassy in Miami in 2000. At these events vitriolic speeches were made while Israeli flags were burned.
In October at one of these events - as demonstrators shouted "Haya al Jihad" [Long live Jihad] and "With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand" - Dremali shouted to the crowd:
"...[don't] be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in."
Apparently Rafiq Sabir took Dremali's message to heart.
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