United States v. Sabir, No. 07-1968-cr (2d Cir. February 4, 2011) (Winter, Raggi, CJJ, Dearie, DJ)
Rafiq Sabir, an American doctor, was convicted of conspiring to and attempting to provide material support – in the form of his own medical services – to al Qaeda. Sabir raised a multitude of issues on appeal, including a challenge to the constitutionality of the material support statute and complaints about the racial composition of the jury, the trial court’s evidentiary rulings, and the government’s rebuttal summation.
But of particular interest are the opinion’s discussion of sufficiency of his conviction for attempt, an issue that the court does not not often consider in depth, and the diverging views of the two opinions on the issue.
The case against Sabir arose from a terrorism investigation of Sabir’s longtime friend, Tarik Shah, that began in 2001. An FBI CI “Saeed,” cultivated a relationship with Shah, in …