All That Jazz...in Saudi Arabia?
NEW YORK (AP) -- Two U.S. citizens accused of being al-Qaida loyalists were each ordered held without bail Tuesday as they appeared in federal courtrooms in New York and Florida.This is too rich to pass up. First, I am a musician and music afficionado with a strong background in jazz, and I have never heard of this guy.
In Fort Pierce, Fla., Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, 50, told U.S. District Judge James Hopkins that he had yet to hire an attorney, and the judge set the next hearing in his case for June 6.
Tarik Shah, 42, of New York, waved and smiled at supporters and appeared relaxed at his preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan before Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz.
Neither defendant had entered a plea on the single charge of conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida. Prosecutors say the two men swore a formal oath of loyalty to al-Qaida as they conspired to use their skills in martial arts and medicine to aid international terrorism.
The men were arrested Friday following a sting operation that the government said started in 2003. If convicted, each could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
A lawyer for Shah, Anthony Ricco, said outside court that the case was a "desperate prosecution by our government." He described Shah as a world renowned jazz musician, a father and a family man.
A spokesman for the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Dan McBride, defended Sabir outside court in Florida as a man who traveled between the United States and Saudi Arabia to earn enough money to support his wife and their two sons.For a guy with no money, he has to travel there to make money so he can live in the US? I dare say that he would have more money if he worked in the US and saved the money he spends travelling to SA. It would also be more believable if it was the other way around: that he lives in SA and comes to the US (or Europe - it's a lot closer) to work.
"He has no money," McBride said. "He works over there, then comes back and lives over here."
But read the rest. They have the goods on this guy and his buddy. Life in my Alaskan internment camp is what they deserve. Next...
OK, I did a search of Tarik Shah and found that he's a bass player whose most notable performance that I could find was on a Pharoah Sanders album...from 1987, and a few other albums with even lesser known musicians. If he is so "world reknowned" I shouldn't have to dig too far to find out.
I have corrected myself. Originally I indicated that Shah was the one travelling to SA to play jazz, but it was his buddy who was going there to work. Sorry for the confusion.