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US doctor found guilty of supporting Al Qaeda

A US doctor has been convicted of supporting Al Qaeda after pledging an "oath of loyalty" to the terrorist group in front of an undercover federal agent, the US Justice Department said.

world Updated: May 22, 2007 08:48 IST

A US doctor has been convicted of supporting Al Qaeda after pledging an "oath of loyalty" to the terrorist group in front of an undercover federal agent, the US Justice Department said.

Rafiq Sabir, 52, and his friend Tarik Shah were both recorded by FBI agents expressing a desire to provide medical aid and martial arts training to Al Qaeda during a two-year undercover operation.

The operation culminated in a recorded "ceremony" in May 2005 in New York, where the two offered allegiance to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the organization, in front of an FBI agent they believed to be an Al Qaeda recruiter, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Neither Sabir nor Shah had ever had direct contact with Al Qaeda members or plotted an attack, but had allegedly looked into locations where they could provide training and said they had pondered a move to Afghanistan in 1998 to attend terrorism-training camps.

Sabir, born in New York but based in Florida, faces up to 30 years in prison and will be sentenced in September. He was convicted in a New York district court on Monday of conspiracy and attempting to provide material support or resources to Al Qaeda.