El Sayyid Nosair

El Sayyid Nosair

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El Sayyid Nosair is an Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian-born American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 citizen, convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing
1993 World Trade Center bombing
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower into the South Tower , bringing...

. He was also tried for, but not convicted of, the assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 of Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 Meir Kahane
Meir Kahane
Martin David Kahane , also known as Meir Kahane , was an American-Israeli rabbi and ultra-nationalist writer and political figure. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli Knesset...

 a Jewish religious figure and right-wing Israeli
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 politician in November 1990; a crime to which he later admitted his guilt.

In 1994, Nosair was convicted in Federal Court of nine counts, including seditious
Sedition
In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent to lawful authority. Sedition may include any...

 conspiracy
Conspiracy (crime)
In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement...

, murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

 in aid of racketeering, attempted murder
Attempted murder
Attempted murder is a crime in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.-Today:In English criminal law, attempted murder is the crime of more than merely preparing to commit unlawful killing and at the same time having a specific intention to cause the death of human being under the Queen's Peace...

 in aid of racketeering, attempted murder of a postal police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a murder, use of a firearm during an attempted murder, and possession of a firearm.

Background


El Sayyid Nosair was born in 1955 in Port Said
Port Said
Port Said is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal, with an approximate population of 603,787...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and immigrated to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1981. He became an American citizen in 1989. In the United States, Nosair worked various jobs in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Nosair was employed by the City of New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, to repair air conditioning at the criminal courts building.

Nosair expressed dislike for American culture and what he perceived to be rampant moral corruption. Nosair became involved with the al-Farouq Mosque in Brooklyn, which was supported by the Maktab al-Khadamat
Maktab al-Khadamat
The Maktab al-Khidamat, also Maktab Khadamāt al-Mujāhidīn al-'Arab , also known as the Afghan Services Bureau, is reliably believed to have been founded in 1984 by Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden to raise funds and recruit foreign mujahidin for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan...

 (Services Office), which was established in 1984 by Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 and Abdullah Azzam in Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The purpose of the Services Office was to raise funds for the Arab mujahadeen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

, as well as recruitment. Ali Mohamed
Ali Mohamed
Ali Abdul Saoud Mohamed, is a double agent who worked for both the CIA and Egyptian Islamic Jihad simultaneously, reporting on the workings of each for the benefit of the other....

, a sergeant at Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg (North Carolina)
Fort Bragg is a major United States Army installation, in Cumberland and Hoke counties, North Carolina, U.S., mostly in Fayetteville but also partly in the town of Spring Lake. It was also a census-designated place in the 2010 census and had a population of 39,457. The fort is named for Confederate...

, provided United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 manuals and other assistance to individuals at the al-Farouq Mosque, and some members including Mahmoud Abouhalima and Nosair practiced at the Calverton Shooting Range on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

, many of the group wearing t-shirt
T-shirt
A T-shirt is a style of shirt. A T-shirt is buttonless and collarless, with short sleeves and frequently a round neck line....

s reading "Help Each Other in Goodness and Piety...A Muslim to a Muslim is a Brick Wall" with a map of Afghanistan emblazoned in the middle.

Assassination of Meir Kahane


In 1990, Nosair was accused of committing the assassination of Meir Kahane
Meir Kahane
Martin David Kahane , also known as Meir Kahane , was an American-Israeli rabbi and ultra-nationalist writer and political figure. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli Knesset...

, the founder of the NYC based Jewish Defense League
Jewish Defense League
The Jewish Defense League is a Jewish organization whose stated goal is to "protect Jews from antisemitism by whatever means necessary"...

, a member of the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

, and founder of the Kach
Kach and Kahane Chai
Kach was a far-right political party in Israel. Founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1970s, and following his Jewish nationalist ideology , the party entered the Knesset in 1984 after several electoral failures...

 party, in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. The Kahane assassination occurred on November 5, 1990, shortly after 9 p.m., following a speech to an audience of mostly Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

. A crowd of well-wishers gathered around Kahane following the speech in the second-floor lecture hall in midtown Manhattan's Marriott East Side Hotel. Following a skirmish, El Sayyid Nosair, who was among the crowd, was shot by Carlos Acosta, a police officer for the United States Postal Inspection Service
United States Postal Inspection Service
The United States Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service. Its jurisdiction is defined as "crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S...

. The two continued to exchange gunfire before Nosair was apprehended. Nosair was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment of his wounds.

Trial


During legal proceedings, Nosair largely ignored the court and focused on multiple sketches he made of Princess Diana.

In a split verdict described by Jeffrey B. Abramson as "bizarre", a jury in December 1991 acquitted
Acquittal
In the common law tradition, an acquittal formally certifies the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the criminal law is concerned. This is so even where the prosecution is abandoned nolle prosequi...

 Nosair of the murder but convicted him of assault and possession of an illegal firearm. He was also convicted of related charges, including shooting a U.S. Postal Inspection Service agent. He was defended by William Kunstler
William Kunstler
William Moses Kunstler was an American self-described "radical lawyer" and civil rights activist, known for his controversial clients...

 (along with two co-counsels), who at first advised him to plead insanity. When Nosair refused, the defense argued that there had been a conspiracy against Nosair and Kahane might have been killed by one of his followers. Kunstler saw the composition of the jury (which he described as being made up of "third-world people" and "people who were not yuppies or establishment types") as crucial to the verdict.

The judge in the trial, Justice Alvin Schlesinger, said that the jury's acquittal of Nosair on the murder charge "was against the overwhelming weight of evidence and was devoid of common sense and logic". The judge added that "I believe the defendant conducted a rape of this country, of our Constitution and of our laws, and of people seeking to exist peacefully together." He sentenced Nosair to 7 1/3 to 22 years in prison, the maximally allowed term.

Kunstler also saw the split verdict as irrational, promising to appeal Nosair's convictions.

Conspiracy to free Nosair from prison


Nosair was originally sentenced to serve his time in Attica State Prison in New York. It was reported that prior to his arrest, Omar Abdul-Rahman (the “Blind Sheikh”) and his followers conducted detailed surveillance of the facility and had discussed plans to use a truck bomb attack combined with an armed assault to rescue Nosair from prison.

Terror conspiracy conviction


Nosair was still serving time in prison on the New York state assault and weapons charges when he was convicted as part of the federal trial of the "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman
Omar Abdel-Rahman
Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman , commonly known in the United States as "The Blind Sheikh", is a blind Egyptian Muslim leader who is currently serving a life sentence at the Butner Medical Center which is part of the Butner Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina, United...

. Both received life sentences without parole for a terror conspiracy, in Nosair's case life plus 15 years imprisonment. It was ruled that Kahane's death was part of the total "seditious conspiracy," so Nosair was also convicted of killing Kahane. He is serving his sentence in Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute
Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute
The Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, is a federal prison for adult males located at the intersection of State Road 63 and Springhill Drive, two miles south of Terre Haute, Indiana United States...

, in Terre Haute
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute is a city and the county seat of Vigo County, Indiana, United States, near the state's western border with Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 60,785 and its metropolitan area had a population of 170,943. The city is the county seat of Vigo County and...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

.

Link to Osama Bin Laden


In 2002, Eleanor Hill, director of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating intelligence failures prior to the Attacks of September 11, 2001, reported that Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 helped pay for Nosair's legal defense for his trial for the murder of Kahane. Hill wrote that during that trial the FBI learned that one of Nosair's relatives "traveled to Saudi Arabia to obtain money to pay for Nosair's defense" and that "He received funds from a wealthy Saudi - Usama Bin Ladin." Ron Kuby
Ron Kuby
Ronald L. Kuby is a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, radio talk show host and TV commentator. He has hosted radio programs on WABC Radio in New York and Air America Radio.-Beginnings:...

, one of Nosair's lawyers in the 1991 state case, later stated that a cousin of Nosair's paid for some of the legal expenses with money he said was raised by "family and friends." However, Kuby stressed that "We never got any checks signed Osama Bin Laden. We just barely got paid. We barely covered expenses."

Possible accomplices in Kahane murder


In August 2010, the conservative Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post, which, in turn, is quoting from the mid August issue of Playboy
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

, claimed that Nosair had two partners and that his original target was Israeli military figure and future Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

.

"He added that on the night he shot Kahane dead, he was accompanied by two co-conspirators to the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan where Kahane was speaking – one of whom was also carrying a gun.

"The men, Bilal al-Kaisi of Jordan and Mohammed A. Salameh
Mohammed A. Salameh
Mohammed A. Salameh is a convicted perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. He is currently an inmate at ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado....

, a Palestinian illegal alien later involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, have never been charged for their part in the slaying."