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Monday, September 13, 2004

Jailed Sheik: Kill the Jews

September 13, 2004 -- A blind terrorist sheik was able to issue an order to his militant Islamic followers from prison — calling for the "killing of Jews" everywhere just a year before the Sept. 11 attacks — thanks to help from a Staten Island postal worker, Manhattan jurors were told.

Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman is serving a life sentence for conspiring to blow up city landmarks. He's barred from contacting anyone except his wife and legal team.

But Ahmed Abdel Sattar, the postal worker who also serves as Abdel-Rahman's paralegal, delivered the sheik's chilling fatwa, or edict, to terrorists over the phone and via e-mail, according to calls intercepted by federal authorities. The phone calls were transcribed and viewed by jurors.

Sattar is on trial in Manhattan federal court for participating in terrorist activity. Two other defendants, Abdel-Rahman's radical lawyer, Lynne Stewart, and his interpreter, Mohammed Yousry, are also charged with aiding and abetting terrorist activity by helping smuggle the sheik's messages out of prison. Federal prosecutors said Sattar delivered the sheik's messages directly to terror supporters in Afghanistan and London, and through Arabic and Mideast Web sites, according to the wiretaps.

Sattar, with a copy of the sheik's fatwa in his hand, excitedly tells Yassir Al-Sirri based in London during an Oct. 4, 2000, phone call, "Do you want to listen to it?" Al-Sirri answers yes.

Sattar reads the fatwa: "A statement to the nation, the old and the young . . . calling on the Islamic nation to mandate the killing of Jews wherever they are." The sheik's edict said it is the "duty of every capable Muslim to wage the jihad against them . . . until the Jews are driven to their graves . . . either killing them as individuals or by targeting their interests and their advocates, as much as they can, adding, "assassinate them."