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Thursday, December 14, 2006
Omar Abdel Rahman May Be Near Death
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, known as "the blind Sheikh," is reportedly seriously ill, according to CNN, and the FBI has sent out an alert that his death may provoke terror attacks.
INTELWIRE recently obtained the full transcript of the sentencing in Abdel Rahman's 1995-1996 trial for seditious conspiracy. The Rahman portion of the transcript is included below for reporters and bloggers seeking quotes for coverage of Abdel Rahman's illness. A link back or credit is appreciated but not mandatory.
Audio of Rahman's speeches (in Arabic) are also available. INTELWIRE has some video, but it is generally of fairly low quality. INTELWIRE can also offer a wide range of research assistance on stories, news coverage, documentaries and (if necessary) obituaries for Rahman, and J.M. Berger is available to discuss Rahman on the record for media inquiries.
Later reports indicated Rahman's condition has stabilized. If Rahman dies in prison, it will provide an absolute test of al Qaeda's ability to strike in the U.S. homeland. If al Qaeda cannot mount an attack in response to Rahman's death (within a reasonable period), it is almost certainly an indicator that Osama bin Laden's U.S. terror network has been substantially depleted.
Similarly, the timing and specificity any statements from Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri will reflect their current status. The occasion of Rahman's death will mandate a serious rhetorical outlay by al Qaeda's leaders.
Contact J.M. Berger for details.
1 (Defendant Omar Abdel Rahman present)
2 THE CLERK: United States of America versus Abdel
3 Rahman. Is the government ready?
4 MR. McCARTHY: The government is ready, your Honor.
5 THE CLERK: Is the defendant ready?
6 MS. STEWART: The defendant is ready.
7 THE COURT: Mr. McCarthy, other than what I have got
8 already, is there anything you want to add?
9 MR. McCARTHY: Nothing further, your Honor.
10 THE COURT: Ms. Stewart, you have reviewed the
11 presentence report with Dr. Abdel Rahman, is that correct?
12 MS. STEWART: I have, Judge, and we submitted a
13 letter to your Honor which you took into consideration as of
14 yesterday, and with regard to the revised presentence report,
15 and I have reviewed that also with Dr. Abdel Rahman.
16 THE COURT: Thank you. Do you want to be heard?
17 MS. STEWART: Yes, Judge.
18 THE COURT: Go ahead.
19 MS. STEWART: Judge, I have only been here for a
20 couple of sentences but I heard you say a couple of times that
21 we are bound by the action of the jury as to what they have
22 decided. Notwithstanding the fact that you are left with no
23 discretion with regard to sentencing my client, since it is a
24 sentence of life imprisonment that he faces, I just think for
25 the record we would like to present to the court the
1 influences that also went to convict Dr. Abdel Rahman. I
2 would say that he is, as we sit here today, the victim of an
3 overreaching U.S. government prosecution, with the political
4 goal of silencing this outspoken critic of policy in the
5 Middle East and particularly Egypt, that he stands convicted
6 as much by the temper of the times, the palpable fear of
7 people who identified believers in one of the world's great
8 religions as equating with terrorism, a terrible stigma, and,
9 thirdly, that he stands convicted under an archaic conspiracy
10 law which even lawyers and judges must admit is stretched
11 tissue-thin to accommodate a conviction such as this, to
12 convict this good man who fearlessly followed his own
13 conscience, convict him of a crime punishable by life in
14 prison, and that imprisonment will be harsh, harsh for a
15 blind, elderly, non-English-speaking cleric in ill health.
16 As of Monday night when I visited him at MCC, we had
17 to pass through 15 jailhouse doors, and finally in some inner
18 sanctum we were locked into a cage 4 feet by 10 feet to
19 discuss his remarks at sentencing, and my assumption is it
20 will only get worse.
21 But I, at least, as the defender of my respected
22 friend Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman have the freedom to enunciate
23 this. You, Judge, your hands are tied by the guidelines and
24 by your position.
25 "Any man knows when he is justified and all the wits
1 in the world cannot enlighten him on that point. The murderer
2 always knows whether he is justly punished, but when a
3 government takes the life of a man without the consent of his
4 conscience, it is an audacious government and it is taking a
5 step towards its own dissolution. Is it not possible that an
6 individual may be right and the government wrong? Are laws to
7 be enforced simply because they were made or declared by any
8 number of men to be good if they are not good? Is there any
9 necessity for a man's being a tool to perform a deed of which
10 his better nature disapproves?"
11 That was Henry Thoreau, upon learning that John Brown
12 had been sentenced to death.
13 My client followed his conscience and his God, and
14 stands ready to be sentenced by the United States of America.
15 THE COURT: Dr. Abdel Rahman, do you wish to be
17 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Yes, I would like to.
18 THE COURT: Go ahead.
19 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: (Through the interpreter)
20 Thanks be to God and blessings to our Prophet
21 Mohammed. Allah almighty says never will the Jews nor the
22 Christians be pleased with you, God's blessings and peace be
23 upon you, till you follow the religion. Muslims all over the
24 world, God's mercy and blessings be with you.
25 Today when I am faced in a few minutes' time with a
1 life sentence in jail, or more than that, injustice,
2 unlawfully, with that I am facing, I am honored to join those
3 who are in jail for God's cause, with the martyrs and the good
4 doers and the saints. And then I say God is great, I have
5 won, and God is a God of Alkabah. And I say, and I am not
6 exaggerating when I say I am sent in jail as a Muslim, on
7 which side did I end up dying in God's cause? And I say, I
8 will not be terrorized by jail nor by execution, as long as
9 that is in the service of Islam.
10 I am disagreeing with my attorney when she tries to
11 make the jail sentence a little less. I am refusing any mercy
12 or pleading for having less time in jail. And when I was put
13 in jail, since 31 months America is putting me in jail in
14 solitary confinement. I don't have anyone with me to help me
15 for my daily needs. I am also under surveillance for 24 hours
16 a day, and officer sees me even when I am sitting in the
17 toilet. And this is against my beliefs. What kind of insult
18 is this from the United States of America? And in doing this,
19 the United States is trying to kill me. Slow death, with
20 using this means or another.
21 God is great and he will be revengeful. And if you
22 are sure of having killed me, please praise to God, and walk
23 in my funeral. And please follow the justice, the justice
24 that I follow. My killing will be a martyrdom in the cause of
25 God, and for me to be in jail is time for me to pray to God.
1 And when I hear the sentence, life in jail or more, you will
2 find me to be very patient. Those who are steadfast,
3 consciously restful, peaceful at heart, happy with myself and
4 my soul, because I say the truth even when it is very bitter,
5 I am not afraid of anybody when I talk of God, because I have
6 faced those who are unjust in Egypt and in America, and I said
7 to the unjust that you are unjust. And if I will start my
8 life once more from the beginning, I would try my best twice
9 as much, and I would have added more in facing those who are
11 And I will speak what the Koran taught me to say.
12 Nothing will happen to us except what we were destined to by
13 God's will. He is our savior. And the believers will depend
14 on God. Justice is clear, and unjustice is flakey. And
15 justice will continue no matter how much how America resists
16 it. And I have chosen my way of life in life, and I will say
17 that is saying the truth and justice, and the resistance of
18 those who are unjust, and all through my life I have paid the
19 price, the same way those who call for God's word paid with
20 their lives when they executed what they were entrusted.
21 And I know that you will put me in jail after
22 sentencing and that you will exile me to the worst jails and
23 to the furthest jails, to be revengeful of me and to keep me
24 quiet from telling the truth. But my message will never die.
25 It is in the Muslim's hearts and in their homes, in their
1 streets and in their mosques.
2 And thanks be to God who made me that famous on the
3 hands of America. And here is Omar Abdel Rahman, who was
4 sleeping on a pile of rice straw, on top of a bakery that
5 belonged to one of his relatives, whereas he had no home and
6 no parents, and he had nothing on him except the clothing he
7 was wearing. And during his studying he used to take half a
8 dollar from his brother as weekly expenses. Here he is
9 sitting and America is calculating his weight and is
10 surrounding him with soldiers and guards and watching the
11 airports, all for Omar Abdel Rahman. Thanks be to God because
12 all this was done by American hands, or through America's
13 hands. And the government of America is spending thousands of
14 dollars on Abdel Rahman per day, as the minister of justice
15 has said. At the time we are spending millions of dollars,
16 here and there many of its people are hungry, cannot find
17 homes, medicine or food. Please spend your money at home on
18 your own people rather than squandering it here and there.
19 And please, you owe the world do not believe what
20 America is declaring when it says freedom of belief and
21 freedom of speech, and what it declares in its Constitution,
22 in its First Amendment. This is empty talk and there is no
23 truth in it and nobody could believe it. I was put in jail
24 because of the words. There is no freedom of word or freedom
25 of speech. And I cannot practice my prayers in jail. There
1 is no freedom of belief, and those who look after the human
2 rights, instead of going as far as Africa and Asia, should
3 come instead to America and its jails, to see how rights are
4 lost and the word is prohibited.
5 Secondly, since the creation of America it is against
6 the Muslims, and sends its soldiers to follow them all over
7 the seas, but this quiet enmity became a declared war in this
8 last century. America has spent all its efforts to get the
9 Muslims and and to hurt them and to create the most calamitous
10 amongst them, and our case here is the most modern or the
11 latest of American insults towards Islam. It's worse and it's
12 most horrendous in its effect, and this is a plan that was
13 placed by America. It has reached to the poisoning of minds
14 and thoughts. It is not only an attack on Muslims alone, but
15 it is an agression against the words of God and all the great
16 inspirations of God. And it is putting Islam on trial and
17 disgracing it.
18 I have not done anything and I have not committed any
19 crime, except having taught people about Islam. I told them
20 about God's orders so that they may practice it, and the
21 things that they should avoid so that they may avoid them. I
22 have taught people in mosques, in schools, and in
23 universities, what God said and what the messenger said. That
24 is my only profession, and I have not done anything else. And
25 all who are present in this hall know very well that I have
1 done nothing and that I have not committed any crime, and the
2 prosecutor has not alleged against me executing any act, and
3 he has no evidence to produce against me.
4 It is impossible for me to build a bomb or to place
5 it anywhere. This is not the work of a man who preaches
6 Islam, and I cannot do that even. Not from the point of view
7 of my body construction. Not even from the point of view of
8 my position and my profession as a Muslim cleric.
9 All these accusations that I am accused of are no
10 more than words, whereas in the court they have listened to my
11 speeches and my lessons, and these words are not my own words,
12 but these are the words of Islam and the verses of the holy
13 Koran. And when the American government produces or puts
14 forward my speeches and my Muslim lessons as evidence in this
15 case, in so doing it is actually putting Islam on trial, and
16 it is putting the Koran on trial, and America thinks that when
17 it puts Islam on trial and tells lies against it and makes
18 allegations, and makes it look bad, America believes that it
19 is killing Islam, and in truth it is killing itself, and
20 America believes that killing Islam is easy, like killing the
21 people, as it practices all around the world. And if the
22 American arm is that long, its arm is actually incapable but
23 even paralyzed when it comes to hurting Islam in any way. And
24 if America is capable of killing people, it cannot kill Islam.
25 And if it tried to do that, God will actually make it
1 disappear, and will make it disappear from the surface of this
2 earth, as it had made the Soviet Union disappear, because God
3 has guaranteed the continuation of Islam and the safeguarding
4 of the Koran. God said, we have given the book and we will
5 take care of it.
6 And after the prosecutors have tried to change the
7 facts and to change the meaning of my words and to make me say
8 what I have not said and to create things that never happened,
9 and to tell lies about Islam in many a way, and after having
10 brought in a translator to translate the day into night and
11 what is peaceful into what is catastrophic, these people
12 should have gone and be put in mental asylums rather than
13 being brought into federal court to translate. After that,
14 the judge refused us the right to bring an expert in Islam to
15 testify that that is what Islam says, what the Koran has said,
16 what the prophet has said, and as if the prosecutor became the
17 only expert in Islam, while in truth he is knowing nothing
18 about Islam, neither little nor more. And the government was
19 afraid, and the judge followed them.
20 Had they brought in an expert in Islam, that expert
21 would have said, he would have said bless you Abdel Rahman,
22 may God bless you, you have said what Islam has ordered us to
23 say, and you have asked people to follow what the Koran said.
24 And you have not changed or added what thousands of Muslim
25 clerics have said. And this expert could have said you have
1 explained, you have moderately explained what Islam has
2 forbidden and what Islam has allowed, and you have not been an
3 extremist in your explanations, as the grand jury has claimed.
4 They know nothing about Islam. For that, the government was
5 afraid and the judge followed them, when it came to us
6 bringing in an expert in Islam.
7 And if we have imagined the typical wars that are
8 around us in the world, the worst and most fearful war in
9 truth will be this case in particular. Whereas America has
10 launched a huge and horrendous attack against Islam, the field
11 of action is in this case, in this courtroom, and the chief of
12 staff here is the Judge Mukasey.
13 And America was not able to use the typical kinds of
14 weapons. Instead she used the dollar as a weapon to buy false
15 witness, and witnesses that could falsify the truth, and the
16 media that keeps repeating what the prosecutor says. He is
17 like a parrot. His brains are in his ears, and never
18 mentioned anything of what the defense was saying. And the
19 weapon of making noises against Islam and putting it in the
20 picture, and the government starting with a jury, with the
21 prosecutor and with the judge, in a comedy that has chapters
22 and has roles. Each one was acting his role, as per the
23 scenario, and each one of these partners played the part that
24 was made for him, precisely and accurately, and human beings,
25 people will be amazed from the position that was taken by the
1 jury and will actually question their position by putting
2 hundreds of question marks. They agreed that they will go to
3 church tomorrow. How come they have changed? Because they
4 were ordered to do so and they have to execute the orders, and
5 because the instructions to find the people guilty was already
6 given and they have to execute that.
7 Thirdly, Islam cannot be stopped with violence and
8 with the wars by armies, with typical or untypical weapons and
9 with spending millions of dollars to stop it, by lies, by
10 trickery and by corruption, and with unlawful trials like the
11 trial we are in here.
12 And even with all these wars that America is
13 declaring on Islam, the truth, whether America likes it or
14 not, the future is for Islam. Whether America likes it or
15 not, the Muslims will continue to be here, because this kind
16 of law was not legislated in Congress and was not made in the
17 White House and was not made in the Pentagon. But this is
18 God's destiny, God's plan, and God's plan will succeed, and
19 history proves that, and the Koran spreads that, or speaks of
21 God has said in the holy book that they are trying to
22 extinguish God's light with their mouth, but God will complete
23 his light even if the disbelievers do not like it. He is the
24 one who sent his messenger with guidance and the truth, the
25 religion of truth, to make it appear in all other religions.
1 And God said in his book, God has brought to me the furthest
2 part of the earth, and the extent of my people will be as much
3 as I want.
4 And President Nixon, irrespective of his enmity to
5 Islam, say that the winds of change in the Muslim Orient, it
6 has reached the stage of a typhoon that cannot be stopped.
7 Islam came to stay, and the Koran was given so that it will be
8 the rule.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honor, I am having difficulty
10 following this speech as it is made. May I ask that we read
11 the text?
12 THE COURT: You have to translate what it is that he
13 says as opposed to what it is that you have written.
14 THE INTERPRETER: May I confer with him?
15 THE COURT: Yes, you may.
17 THE COURT: Go ahead.
18 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: And God has decreed that
19 triumph will be for Islam, and God also decreed that the
20 disbelievers will suffer and America and its power cannot, and
21 even the allies with it, even if they have spent all what they
22 can, stop this giant from creeping all over the earth, nor to
23 stop its movement. As the tide has to flow and the dams have
24 to collapse, and the monkeys will be taken by the waves, and
25 by then God's will prevail, no matter how the disbelievers
3 MS. STEWART: Judge, I have known Mr. Kheir for many
4 years but I think we are having some real problems here. We
5 thought Galil was going to be here. He was brought in from
6 Chicago for the government and yet he is not here today. He
7 was familiar with the sheik and his speech patterns.
8 THE COURT: We will do the best we can.
10 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: The real judgment is not in
11 the world. It will be in God's hands when God decides at the
12 end, and the judge, he either leaves his position or he leaves
13 his post. When he dies, he will move from the space of the
14 courtroom to the narrowness of the tomb, because nothing
15 remains except God. And the judge has wronged us, and he has
16 denied us our right to bring in experts in Islam to explain
17 the Muslim belief, and in so doing he made the prosecutor the
18 only point of reference when it comes to explaining the
19 meaning of Islam. The government said so that he may not
20 confuse the jury, and the judge said so that they will not
21 confuse the jury, and the judge prevented us our right to know
22 through the State Department how much American involvement in
23 Egypt when it comes to putting me in jail, and when and how
24 that come from America. And what is the extent of the
25 involvement of America in the killing of Muslims in Egypt?
1 And the judge prevented and the judge refused many of
2 the questions that were made to find the biases among the
3 members of the jury, and his feelings and his biases against
4 Islam. And the judge did not tell the defense about the deal
5 that has taken place between Siddig and the government except
6 after they had finished the opening statements, when it took
7 place with his own knowledge. And the judge granted the
8 government all their requests, and they did not give the
9 defense anything, and the judge refused every motion that was
10 put forward by the defense. And the judge even evaded the
11 responsibility that is internationally agreed upon. The
12 defendants are entrusted to the judge, and the judge gave us
13 only one day when it came to our own feast, and we had the
14 right to four days. And he gave himself two days when it came
15 to his own feast. And the judge refused to solve, or to come
16 forward to solve any problem that was between us and the
17 management of the jail.
18 And William Kunstler asked the judge to recuse
19 himself from this case, for reasons all of us know, and
20 Kunstler was right, and the judge refused that, and actually
21 did not allow Kunstler to be in the case. And Kunstler, after
22 having had experience of 50 years, said that any Muslim who is
23 facing trial in this country will not have a fair trial. And
24 Kunstler met his God, and his word remained as a stigma
25 against American justice because of its --
1 And injustice leads not well. And the judge said to
2 the members of the jury, no one here is going to be tried
3 because of his beliefs, and the whole world came to know
4 through this trial that I am being tried because of my beliefs
5 and because I defend Islam.
6 And if the government is responding to Mubarak's
7 demands, the judge is responding to all the government
8 demands. But we see worse than that. We have seen that
9 justice in America is under the influence of politics, which
10 doesn't care about justice and about the prevailing of
11 fairness. As a result, the nonguilty are in jail. And it was
12 for the justice system to keep away from the executive branch
13 of government. And all what is important for the judge is to
14 finish with the trial at a certain time, without giving
15 justice the time to take its course, and the judge talked what
16 he wanted. And the play is over, and the curtain has been
17 lowered on October 1.
18 THE INTERPRETER: I will read what is here in the
20 America has become the most fierce enemy of Islam.
21 This enmity to Islam took on many aspects.
22 THE COURT: Excuse me. Did the defendant ask that
23 you do that?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, but the order of the sentences
25 are not the same but the meaning is the same. He wishes that
1 I read number 4, and that is what number 4 reads.
2 MS. STEWART: Could Mr. Kheir just translate it to
3 the sheik first?
4 THE COURT: Fine.
6 THE COURT: Excuse me. Even when people confer at
7 the front, this is still a court and it is still in session.
9 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: This case and this
10 accusation of mine is nothing but an extension of this fierce,
11 lengthy attack of American war against Islam, and this war, it
12 is not new to us, but it has been taking place since the
13 beginning of the 20th century. This attack took many aspects.
14 One of them, the Congress held many sessions to study Muslim
15 fundamentalism and the Muslim revival, to plan so that they
16 may strike the Muslim movement.
17 Number two, America launched campaigns by
18 orientalists and missionaries in Africa and Asia to attack
19 Islam and conquer it.
20 Number three, the American media, the one that is
21 very angry, is propagating the idea of the Muslim danger,
22 according to them, all over, and it takes the front lines:
23 Islam and the sword, the Muslim dagger, the rabid Islam, the
24 threat of Islam to the West, Black Emmanuel. It is like an
25 X-rated movie as a background it puts the call to prayers
1 instead of the background music in the movie.
2 Number four, the President Nixon puts the choices as
3 such: We have to liquidate the Muslim current around the
4 world, and whatever does not melt, we will liquidate and
5 finish it.
6 Number five. The West in a nasty manner asks,
7 demands that no decisions should be made about the Islamic
8 revival except by America itself.
9 Number six. America and allies to make of Ataturk a
10 hero, and they have put conditions to him that he should get
11 rid of the Muslim caliphate, to get rid of the Muslim
12 constitution, to declare Turkey a secular country, and the
13 fighting of the Islamic rituals.
14 Number seven. Every time the Muslim calls for
15 prayers in Turkey, if they restored some of the Muslim
16 principles back to it, America will press the red buttons in
17 Washington. And Mandaris as a result was executed, and there
18 was a coup d'etat against Demarel, and Nadin Abrecan was
19 removed from government, and the pushing of the buttons
21 Number eight. There is a general rule agreed upon
22 between America and other enemies of Islam that Islam should
23 never be revived after having been hit, and that Israel should
24 remain forever.
25 Number nine. America caused coups d'etats all over
1 the Muslim world to make sure that they hit the Muslim
2 movement and to continue to preserve Israel. And it started
3 it with a coup d'etat of Hosni Sayyim of Syria, on the hands
4 of the American ambassador, in the year 1949.
5 Number ten. There is another rule, the writer of the
6 book "The Game of the Nations," and he is one of the CIA
7 people quoting the foreign secretary in the year 1947 that
8 they must interfere in the Muslim world, even using dirty
9 tricks, and that is what America is following till now.
10 Number eleven. The American intelligence found in
11 Abdul Nasser their man of the future, and that horrible
12 revolution took place in Egypt in 1952, and they promised to
13 practice certain things, three things: First to hit the
14 Islamic movement and to finish the existence of Al-Azhar, and
15 to guarantee the security of Israel, and officers executed
16 that precisely. Many Muslims were killed and tens of
17 thousands of them ended up in jail.
18 Twelve. In the year 1964, the American CIA presented
19 Abdul Nasser with a report that there is an undercurrent,
20 Muslim current, and that the Muslim movement should be hit
21 again. And after, Nasser declared from the top of Lenin's
22 tomb that we have arrested 17,000 young men and we shall not
23 forgive them.
24 Number thirteen. And the thing that makes it very
25 clear that America is the worst enemy of Islam, what the
1 President Nixon wrote in a book entitled "The Year 1999,
2 Victory With No War," in which he mentioned, and the new
3 battlefields will be the third world. Naturally, that's where
4 the Muslim world is. And President Nixon also said, it is
5 incumbent on Russia and America that they should have a
6 decisive cooperation to hit Muslim fundamentalism, and said,
7 in the Muslim world from Morocco to Indonesia, the Muslim
8 fundamentalism took the place of communism being the basic
9 tool for violent change.
10 Number fourteen. America loved Mubarak and supported
11 his regime, and helped him by giving him billions, because he
12 is a despot. He cheated and stole, he raped and accepted
13 bribes, and suppressed freedom and suppressed the breath of
14 people and broke the pencils. And he corrupted democracy and
15 prevented the other points of view from surfacing.
16 America loved Mubarak as a result, because he killed
17 thousands of Muslims and he jailed many hundreds of thousands
18 of them and the jails were crowded with them. He built other
19 prisons paid for by American dollars, and he terrorized the
20 peaceful and he attacked the homes and the mosques after
21 midnight and took the wives and the mothers as hostages in the
22 police precincts.
23 And America loved Mubarak because he ruled Egypt with
24 an iron fist, and he ruled it with a police regime, and he
25 ruled Egypt with emergency laws, and he disgraced and insulted
1 justice, and he referred the cases to military tribunals, and
2 it is not courts but it is slaughterhouses. The judge in it
3 is a butcher. They have condemned many of the young Muslim
4 men to death.
5 God is revengeful. Mubarak and his gang took
6 millions of people's money, and most of the people are living
7 in what looks like tombs. And America went into partnership
8 with Mubarak in fighting all what is Muslim.
9 And the attempt to liquidate Al-Azhar, and to hit the
10 Muslim movement, and the spending of millions in changing the
11 Muslim curriculums, whereas they have disgraced and they
12 removed anything that spreads enmity against Israel.
13 And America crowned all this kind of corruption by
14 convening the convention on population in Egypt, to destroy
15 the Muslim family and to spread corruption and homosexuality
16 and spread AIDS and encourage abortion and birth control and
17 the destruction of the family, and all the diseases that are
18 found in the American community.
19 With all that, I did not conspire to kill Mubarak,
20 and I have not instigated anybody against him.
21 And how could this happen from a person who actually
22 calls for great press conferences to attack him in the open?
23 And the people of human rights and Amnesty started calling and
24 wrote reports up to the year 1995, and it raised its voice,
25 that the Mubarak regime has exceeded all what has been known
1 by humanity, from killing to arrests to exile.
2 But America doesn't listen to these crimes and cannot
3 see these reports, because America likes Mubarak.
4 But when it came to the matter of Kuwait, it
5 protected the rights of humans in Kuwait, and for that it
6 declared a huge war. But the cries and the calls for help
7 among the Egyptian people while they are being killed, America
8 does not see and does not hear, as if she is using two
9 standards. Whom they like has a special standard.
10 Number fifteen. America has surrounded Iraq and they
11 have starved its Muslim people, and within 40 days they killed
12 110,000 Iraqi soldiers. And America dropped thousands of tons
13 of explosives on Iraq, an amount of bombs equivalent to seven
14 and a half times the bomb that fell on Hiroshima. And they
15 destroyed the drinking water networks. They erected grids and
16 railway tracks, bombarded the cities and petroleum plants.
17 And after that America asked Iraq to pay compensation, from 70
18 to $100 billion. And in the Nixon memoirs and the Carter
19 Principle of 1977, America occupied the waters and the states
20 of the Gulf. And America colonized all Arabia by sending
21 550,000 American soldiers, and that is for two reasons: the
22 protection of the oil fields and the American interests in the
23 area. Number two is to finish Muslim fundamentalism and
24 religious extremism.
25 And then America went against the Libyan people.
1 They barricaded the country to starve them to hunger and to
2 destroy their economy. And America also surrounded the
3 Sudanese people and starved them, and they accused them of
4 having harbored terrorists, and instigated its neighbors to
5 fight with it, and sent millions to the secessionists in
6 southern Sudan in order to spread hunger.
7 And America sent the marines to Somalia to distribute
8 clothing and food. But instead of that, the marines, instead
9 of do that the marines killed tens of thousands of Somalis.
10 And the Sudanese taught them a lesson that they would never
11 forget. And they came out to tell that being unjust always
12 has a bad end.
13 Number sixteen. There are seven of the American
14 presidents who believe in the battle of Armageddon, or the
15 plain of Armageddon, and they believe in the return of Christ
16 to elevate the Christians and the Jews to the clouds, and that
17 the athiests will be destroyed and killed, who are in this
18 case the Muslims.
19 Number seventeen. And to talk about Israel takes a
20 long time, and Israel being the illegal son of America, and we
21 don't have time to discuss Israel because the judge has put a
22 limit on how much we can say.
23 THE COURT: Speaking of which, we are 10 minutes past
24 it. I recognize that there were difficulties with the
25 translation but I would ask, please, try to draw this to a
1 close. Thank you.
2 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: The indictment, this
3 indictment does not have the value of the ink that was used in
4 printing it, and had it been produced by a big government.
5 The government would have resigned and the President would
6 have changed his CIA and his FBI, because this indictment in
7 it says that Omar Abdel Rahman, because he was the chief of an
8 organization, of an international Jihad Organization, and the
9 prince of that Jihad Group in America, and yet he entered and
10 exited America. How could that have happened?
11 And the grand jury said in the second charge of the
12 indictment, the group of this jihad is an enemy of America
13 because America is considered infidel. And I like to say, and
14 this allegation Jihad Group is that one that says America is
15 infidel. It is the word of all the Muslims around the world.
16 One thousand million Muslims around the world agree that the
17 United States of America is an infidel country, infidel when
18 it comes to all measures. It is an infidel or disbeliever
19 with all its organizations and its institutions. The Congress
20 itself is an infidel. The White House is an infidel. The
21 Pentagon is infidel. This courtroom is an infidel. Nobody
22 disagrees on that except those who are tails to the United
23 States of America, like the king Hosni Mubarak, and whoever is
24 a tail of his, too, and like the clerics, the chief, the
25 clerics of the state and of religion. That is what the holy
1 Koran says.
2 THE INTERPRETER: This is a difficult verse in the
3 Koran, your Honor, and I cannot.
4 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: I did not want to mention
5 the fact that the United States of America is an infidel
6 country. It was thanks to the American prosecutor who
7 actually brought this up.
8 Number two. Why was it considered an infidel? One
9 thousand million Muslims answered that by saying America is an
10 infidel country because its system and its society and its way
11 of life never said there is no God but God and Mohammed is his
12 messenger. And it is not, the fact is not what the indictment
13 alleges, that it is most considered an infidel because it is
14 not ruled by the way the religious extremists believe. The
15 indictment itself is illegal and is a lie, and the American
16 prosecution in general doesn't understand anything about
18 Number three. There is no one among the Muslims in
19 the past and in the present who say, nobody says that America
20 should be ruled by the Muslim book, and no infidel nation was
21 asked that it should be ruled by Islam. This kind of lie from
22 the grand jury.
23 Number four. If the explanation of the Muslim
24 extremists considered America as an infidel country, what will
25 the moderate explanation say? Will it say that America is a
1 Muslim country? What kind of talk is this? What kind of
2 nonsense that we have never seen in any indictment in our
4 Number five.
5 THE COURT: Excuse me. We were at number 17 several
6 minutes ago. We are now at number five. That is not progress
7 in the right direction.
8 MS. STEWART: The indictment. We are talking about
9 the indictment.
10 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Your Honor, the Judge, I was
11 at number 17 when I was talking about the American --
12 THE COURT: I am less interested in numbers than I am
13 in drawing to a close.
14 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Tell his Honor that we have
15 moved to another part, which is the indictment, and it has
17 THE COURT: I understand that. I am asking Dr. Abdel
18 Rahman to draw this to a close. Thank you.
19 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Could we proceed?
20 THE COURT: Yes.
21 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Number five. The
22 indictment, charge number four says from the beginning of the
23 eighties Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman is a leader in this
24 international Jihad Organization, and that he is also a member
25 of the jihad movement in Egypt and other parts of the world,
1 and for that he became known as the prince of jihad in the
2 United States of America.
3 And I am now posing the question to the prosecution
4 in America, are these three separate organizations, or is it
5 one organization? But it is the repetition and the
6 fabrications and the writing that you have filled the
7 indictment with. Don't you know, you prosecutors, that in the
8 early eighties in which you allege that the international
9 organization of jihad was born, I was in jail, until the end
10 of the year '84. And after that I was put in jail again in
11 the year '85, and another time the year '86, and the third one
12 the year '89. How could I have been the principal person or
13 the leader of this international jihad at those specific
14 times? Was I contacting that while I am in jail? In Egyptian
15 prisons there are no telephone lines between those who are
16 jailed and the people outside.
17 Prosecutors, can't you see that the Egyptian system
18 of justice around the end of the year '84 found me not guilty
19 of all allegations that I was accused of, wrongly accused of,
20 the way you have also accused me of it here. And the Egyptian
21 justice system found out, or concluded that there is no such
22 organization as the international organization of jihad. When
23 will you learn to be just, you prosecutors?
24 Then when I entered the United States of America in
25 July 1990, how come you did not arrest me while I am the
1 prince of Jihad Organization in United States of America from
2 the beginning of the year 1989 and a principal leader in that
3 international Jihad Organization, from the beginning of the
4 year '80?
5 Yasir Arafat was forbidden from entering America at a
6 time when he was the chairman of the Palestine Liberation
7 Organization. What do you think of me, then? And I am being
8 a principal leader, and I am the prince of the jihad
9 organization in America. Why was it not forbidden? Why was I
10 not forbidden? How did I get the entry visa at a time when I
11 am principal leader in this international organization of
12 jihad, and I am the emir of jihad in America? How did I come
13 to possess the green card within two or three months' time,
14 and the interview for possessing the green card was done
15 within two or three minutes? And even after the green card
16 has been taken away, the FBI agent did not tell me at the
17 airport that the green card is being taken away from you
18 because you are the emir of the Jihad Organization in America.
19 And the immigration judge even did not tell me that, and he is
20 one of the meanest judges on the surface of this earth. Then
21 how did I enter America? Isn't that a weakness in the system?
22 Is it a weakness in the computer system? Or is it a weakness
23 in the minds, or the brains?
24 Number seven. How could the prince of the Jihad
25 Organization in America come to enter America and then exit
1 America a number of times without somebody stopping him? I
2 came over to America during July 1990 and exited America to
4 THE COURT: Excuse me, Miss Stewart. I am going to
5 ask you to tell your client that he has 10 minutes to finish
6 and that perhaps he oughtn't to waste it by complaining that
7 he wasn't arrested on time.
8 MS. STEWART: Excuse me?
9 THE COURT: Perhaps he oughtn't to waste it by
10 complaining that he wasn't arrested in a timely fashion.
11 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Then to Denmark, then to
12 Saudi Arabia, and in every time I return to America. How come
13 I was not stopped from exiting so that I may run away? And
14 how come I was not arrested when I reentered, so that I may be
15 right at a time when I am a principal leader in an
16 international Jihad Organization? Were the systems in America
17 asleep? Or were they awake? If they were asleep, then they
18 should be fined, and if they were awake and I have committed
19 the crimes and they have not arrested me, they must be stupid,
20 they have no brains. Since nothing like that happened,
21 therefore I am innocent and I have not committed anything.
22 And much could be said about the indictment. After
23 that we will discuss the transgressions of the prosecutor.
24 THE COURT: Miss Stewart, did you tell your client
25 that he has 10 minutes left?
1 MS. STEWART: The interpreter, I believe, told him.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, your Honor, I told him that he
3 has 10 minutes and he has actually, as far as I can see, a
4 bunch of cards.
5 MR. JABARA: He is looking through his Braille cards
6 to find where to pick up.
7 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: The prosecutor has made
8 people hear many of my sermons, and I was happy to hear the
9 Muslim word being heard in open courts, and many of the
10 listeners heard it and were happy to hear it. And many of the
11 people who were sitting in the courtroom were my followers.
12 But the prosecutor, he wanted to subject these religious
13 sermons and speeches to American politics. He has presented
14 his speeches and sermons on trial, because it is in this
15 agreement with this kind of politics. And this kind of
16 politics does not agree with Islam, and we will tell the
17 prosecutor no and a thousand no's. The duty is that we should
18 practice the principles of Islam, whether the prosecutor likes
19 it -- the prosecutor likes to Americanize Islam and we refuse
20 to see Islam being Americanized. But what should be done is
21 America should become Muslim, and the prosecutor wants that we
22 become subservient to America, or else we have jail for life.
23 And we say the guard of the jail is better for my heart than
24 what you are calling me to do. Welcome to jail for life, as
25 long as there is God's grace in it.
1 And the prosecutor wants, and that we should kneel
2 and be subservient to America and obey America. And we do not
3 kneel, except for God, the almighty God who is worshipped by
4 everybody. The prosecutor wants for us to worship America and
5 to worship the American power, and we say America will go and
6 will wither, and this civilization will be destroyed, and
7 everything in existence will go. Nothing will remain except
8 God's faith. We do not kneel, except for God. There is no
9 God but God, and that is how the prosecutor should know that
10 we do not obey him or all America.
11 And in the case there are gaps and the prosecutor has
12 to fill these gaps and he alleges that there is a list of
13 telephones and that the sheik called Mr. So and So, and Mr. So
14 and So called Mr. So and So, and Mr. So and So contacted or
15 made a phone call to the sheik, and therefore the sheik has
16 the contacts, the greatest contacts for bombing the World
17 Trade Center. And I challenge, and I challenge again and I
18 challenge again the greatest country on earth to come out with
19 any telephone calls to prove what it alleges. Where is the
21 THE COURT: While you are talking to him, could you
22 tell him he has five minutes.
24 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Where is the technology?
25 Where is the progress that America has achieved? It must come
1 out with these telephone calls. And I challenge America. I
2 challenge America to come forward with these telephone calls.
3 And they will find that the people contacting me, that it was
4 to reconcile a situation between a human being and his sister
5 and his wife, but the prosecutor still has to fill the gaps.
6 There is another gap, the connection of the sheik
7 when it comes to exploding the tunnel. There is nothing in
8 the tapes that proves that. Let the prosecutor allege, he
9 alleges that I contacted Siddig and that Siddig told me about
10 that, and there is no proof of that. Please, Mr. Prosecutor,
11 what is your education? Where is your conscience, where is
12 your courage? Where is your manhood? Where is your humanity?
13 Thirdly, the prosecutor says that I have money and
14 that I must have helped those who participated in the World
15 Trade Center or others, and there is no proof of that. But
16 the proof actually, the discovery proves the opposite.
17 Fourthly is that the sheik is calling for jihad
18 inside America with a rocket and a cannon, and that America is
19 among the enemies. And also there is no evidence of that.
20 But my talk about jihad is always about limited fields, and
21 that the jihad of the Muslims in America is to increase the
22 wealth of. Muslims all over, please witness this kind of
23 injustice that we are going through.
24 THE COURT: Mr. Kheir, he has two minutes.
25 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: Please do not feel
1 subservient to America. Don't be afraid of America. Are you
2 afraid of them? If you are believers, you should only fear
3 God. Wake up and be careful. The time of sleep is over.
4 Rise in God as one man. And don't take the Christians and the
5 Jews as your friends. The Koran says if you obey them, they
6 will send you back as disbelievers. Be just, witnesses of God
7 and victors with God. Say the truth even if it is bitter, and
8 don't be afraid of people's criticisms. And be peaceful,
9 don't cry for me if I am put in jail for life before I am
10 killed. May God prosper the Muslim world, protect it and take
11 care of it, and God is the strongest, but most people do not
12 know. Peace be upon you.
13 THE COURT: Thank you. You have made an eloquent
14 plea for a fair sentence, although not, I suspect, in the way
15 that you intended.
16 MR. CLARK: If we could have just a moment, your
18 THE COURT: Yes.
20 MR. CLARK: Your Honor, I would like to ask you to
21 give the sheik more time. He has not gotten through half of
22 his statement. You have heard bad things about him for two
23 and a half years. It won't hurt to hear an hour or so more if
24 necessary. We might all learn something, including your
25 Honor. I respectfully --
1 THE COURT: Take your seat, sir. That is an order.
2 MR. CLARK: You have heard my request.
3 THE COURT: I have heard your request. It is denied.
4 Those who have been here today and in other cases in
5 which I have passed sentence know that it is not my practice
6 generally to make extensive comments in connection with
7 sentencing. However, it is obvious that the defendant's
8 comments here and those of his attorneys were directed
9 substantially, if not entirely, not to the court or even to
10 the audience in the courtroom but rather at a greater audience
11 outside the courtroom, and that audience, by and large, is
12 composed of people many of whom have no idea of what was
13 proved at this trial or of the evidence presented during this
14 trial, and have no way to find out. Your comments and your
15 counsel's comments, if taken as true, would seriously mislead
16 that audience about what happened at this trial by seeking to
17 put the government and the court on trial. This court has an
18 institutional interest in making sure that the public is not
19 misled, so a few words of response may be in order.
20 So far as the argument that you were tried here for
21 and that you are being punished for your religion, that echoes
22 a claim that was raised in public statements by your lawyer
23 and by you before trial. It is not any more true now than it
24 was then, and it was totally false then. You were accused
25 here of leading a terrorist conspiracy in this country. That
1 is what you were convicted of, and that is what you are being
2 punished for. You were convicted of directing others to
3 perform acts which, if they had been accomplished, would have
4 resulted in the murder of hundreds if not thousands of people,
5 and brought about devastation on a scale that beggars the
6 imagination, certainly on a scale unknown in this country
7 since the Civil War, if not ever, and would have made the
8 World Trade Center outrage seem almost insignificant by
9 comparison. If the person providing technical assistance to
10 the spring 1993 conspirators had not been a government
11 informant but had been a person of the sort who provided
12 technical assistance to the World Trade Center bombers, that
13 ghastly result would have been achieved. The statute that was
14 applied to those acts was not stretched. It fit the crime of
15 which you were convicted.
16 You also directed others to accomplish the murder of
17 a foreign head of state. That is what you are being punished
18 for, not for your religion.
19 You have argued here, and your lawyer has argued,
20 that you were improperly denied the right to present evidence
21 about the teachings of your religion through expert testimony.
22 That evidence was kept out because the issue in this case was
23 not what any religion taught or directed but rather what you
24 taught or directed, and there is only one expert on that, and
25 that expert did not choose to speak on that subject until
2 The relevant evidence with respect to what you did
3 and intended included urging your adherents not to, in your
4 expression, "let the water run," which is to say not to engage
5 in small acts, harmless acts, but to do something big and
6 spectacular, of telling your adherents that there would be
7 word of jihad in America when they stopped living like women.
8 It consisted, even in the words of a defense witness, of
9 counseling on the permissibility of robbing banks for the
10 purpose of raising money.
11 You were the person to whom Mahmoud Abouhalima
12 reported, notwithstanding that you denied your relationship
13 with him in public. You were the person to whom El Sayyid
14 Nosair reported. You were the person to whom Siddig Ali was
15 eager to report after scouting targets in New York. They were
16 doing that reporting before and during the time that they were
17 committing the acts of which they stand convicted. You were
18 the person who sat with others and tried to ferret out who
19 might be an informant, who gave up Abouhalima and the plot to
20 assassinate Mubarak just the way the head of any organized
21 crime organization would do. And finally, you were the person
22 who urged the person you believed to be one of your cohorts,
23 but who turned out to be a government informant, to attack
24 American military installations.
25 That is only a summary of the highlights of the
1 evidence in this case.
2 The crimes of which you stand convicted would be just
3 as much crimes if they were committed in the name of
4 irreligion or greed or any other motivation that has ever
5 impelled people to try to impose their views by force. The
6 only reason that religion was any part of the proof in this
7 case was that it served, regrettably, as the motivation for
8 committing crimes. Because religion does not sanctify crimes,
9 that motive could be proved just the same way that any other
10 motive could be proved.
11 As to your claims of trial error, I can assure you
12 that there is a Court of Appeals on the 17th floor of this
13 building that will be only too happy to listen to those.
14 Your lawyer pointed out during her summation that
15 this country has been very hospitable to people from other
16 countries who are fleeing persecution. They are welcome here
17 and they enjoy great freedom here whether or not they are
18 citizens. Some of them become citizens, including tens of
19 thousands of Muslims who contribute to the civic, artistic,
20 cultural and commercial life of this city and this country, as
21 productive, loyal, and peaceful citizens. They and others are
22 permitted to pursue the agenda that brought them here, even if
23 it means speaking out against governments that this government
24 supports. Some people, however, use that freedom as an
25 opportunity not only to speak and write and agitate, which
1 everyone is free to do, but to engage in violence, and they
2 mistake the freedom and openness of this society for weakness.
3 That is a big mistake and you are not the first person or the
4 only person to make it, and, regrettably, I doubt that you
5 will be the last. However, you should be assured that there
6 is no shortage of will in this country to deal with the threat
7 of violence from any source. If you look at the record of
8 even the relatively recent past -- the last 50 years of this
9 country -- you will find that this country has faced militant
10 fascism, and prevailed, it faced militant communism, and
11 prevailed. Those causes also claimed, as you just did, that
12 they had history on their side. And, faced with militant
13 terrorism, whether it comes from within this country as it did
14 in Oklahoma City, or outside this country as it did here,
15 there is a will to prevail.
16 Prosecutors, and occasionally judges, sometimes say
17 at times like this that a conviction and the punishment
18 imposed as a result will send a message to others who might be
19 tempted to do the same thing that they will be caught and
20 severely punished if they do. It may be possible to a very
21 limited extent to deter fanatically inspired violence.
22 Whether or not that is possible or whether prevention is a
23 surer cure is something for the executive and the legislative
24 branches of this government to decide. But regardless of how
25 one may feel about that, the one thing that the sentence in
1 this case will certainly assure to the citizens of this city
2 and of this country, who deserve it, is that you and the
3 others who are being sentenced here will never be in a
4 position to do again what the evidence showed overwhelmingly
5 that you did in this case.
6 The sentences with respect to the counts on which you
7 have been convicted are as follows:
8 With respect to Count 1, you are committed to the
9 custody of the Attorney General or her authorized
10 representative for 20 years. That is seditious conspiracy.
11 As to Count 2, solicitation to murder Hosni Mubarak,
12 you are committed for 20 years.
13 As to Count 3, conspiracy to murder Hosni Mubarak,
14 you are sentenced to confinement for life.
15 As to Count 4, solicitation to attack military
16 installations, you are sentenced to 20 years.
17 As to Count 5, bombing conspiracy, you are sentenced
18 to five years.
19 DEFENDANT ABDEL RAHMAN: God is great.
20 THE COURT: I find that the defendant is without the
21 funds to pay either a fine or the costs of imprisonment, and
22 accordingly, neither of those will be imposed. I think the
23 issue of supervised release is moot. There is a mandatory $50
24 per count special assessment, for a total of $250, that I must
25 impose and do impose.
1 I am informing the defendant that he has a right to
2 appeal and I would assume, Miss Stewart, that you will file a
3 notice of appeal.
4 MS. STEWART: We will file a notice of appeal, Judge.
5 THE COURT: Is there anything else?
6 MS. STEWART: Nothing.
7 THE COURT: One minute. We haven't adjourned yet,
9 MR. McCARTHY: May I have one moment, your Honor?
10 THE COURT: Yes.
12 MR. McCARTHY: Thank you, your Honor. The government
13 has nothing further.
14 THE COURT: If there is nothing else, we will stand
16 Mr. Jacobs raised his hand. You had a matter?
17 MR. JACOBS: I wanted to be heard.
18 THE COURT: I can hear you. What is it you want to
20 MR. JACOBS: Yes, your Honor. Twice, your Honor, I
21 raised before we started these proceedings the question of
22 whether there were disparate sentences for some of the
23 sentences, and going second presented a problem for me. Your
24 Honor stated the other day that you didn't anticipate a
25 problem with respect to disparate sentences because, quoting
1 your Honor at page 58, given the order in which the defendants
2 are listed in the indictment --
3 THE COURT: You took that as a guarantee that no
4 defendant who came after yours would get a lesser sentence?
5 MR. JACOBS: Guarantee not, your Honor. I just
6 wanted the opportunity to be heard on the issue.
7 THE COURT: To the extent that there was any
8 defendant who came after your defendant who got a lesser
9 sentence, that was an exercise of discretion which I have
10 already explained, and I am not disposed to change any
11 sentence that I have imposed today, and I won't.
12 MR. JACOBS: I would like to be heard on that, your
14 THE COURT: You may not.
15 MR. JACOBS: So that the record is clear --
16 THE COURT: The record is clear and it is closed. We
17 are adjourned.
18 (Court adjourned)
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