Ahmed Abdel Sattar Ahmed Abdel Sattar.org

The Tragedy of Ahmed Abdel Sattar: Egyptian-American Political Prisoner

The case of Ahmed Abdel Sattar should be a matter of serious concern for all Americans. It is the classic case of the U.S. government targeting a U.S. citizen merely because he is an opponent of a client regime of the White House.

Who is Ahmed Abdel Sattar?

Originally from Egypt, Ahmed is an unassuming, humble U.S. citizen, who worked honestly and diligently for the U.S. Postal Service in New York. He was never involved in criminal activity of any kind. In fact, he was known in his community for his piety and virtue, and no one"friend or foe"ever accused him of any underhanded or crooked activities.

A long-time community activist, he was deeply involved in his local mosque in the hopes of creating a better future for the children of his largely Egyptian community. He never preached, instigated, or supported violence against the United States.

Ahmed had deep roots in America. Married to Lisa Sattar, an attractive and compassionate Caucasian-American Muslim from Chicago, Ahmed was confident that he had a future in this land of immigrants. Lisa and Ahmed have four children: Omar (age 19); Ali ( age 18); and twins Amina and Mohamed (age 14).

Fusion of American Democratic Values and Knowledge from the Qur'an led to Opposition to the Egyptian Regime

As Ahmed studied the Qur'an and surveyed the Egyptian political scene, he become an opponent of the murderous Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt. It seemed to him that anyone who supported democracy and human rights should oppose such a regime.

Ahmed's Relationship with Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman

Many Americans are not aware of the cataclysmic changes which occurred in Egypt during the '70s and '80s. These changes included the Egyptian government's decision to recognize Israel, against the will of the majority of Egyptian people. The CIA had evidently infiltrated the top echelons of the Egyptian government.

In response to this hijacking of Egyptian national policy (and the resultant domestic crackdown on dissidents), various Islamic groups evolved. The most successful of these was Gamaa al-Islamiyya, known for its social work in the Egyptian slums. Gamaa also urged its members to resist the regime's repression, torture and murder.

Gamaa al-Islamiyya proliferated into thousands of decentralized groups. Its spiritual leader was Dr. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a Ph.D from al-Azhar University, whose dissertation was on the meaning of jihad in the Qur'an. The mass movement "rooted in mosques, villages, and the poor" posed a serious challenge to Mubarak's brutal regime.

Under severe repression and after repeated arrests, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman emigrated to the U.S. Blind and diabetic, he viewed the U.S. as a place of refuge where he hoped to live in peace, as a traditional Muslim scholar teaching the rulings of Islam on a variety of issues. His learning won him the admiration of thousands of American Muslims, and he was invited to speak at mosques around the country. He did not preach against the U.S., but was a harsh critic of the Mubarak regime. The era of Osama bin Laden had not begun.

Ahmed Abdel Sattar was drawn to the Shaikh, as a valuable source of Islamic knowledge. Ahmed admired the honesty of the Shaikh's rulings, his otherworldliness, his erudition in Qur'an and hadith, and his opposition to the Hosni Mubarak regime. Ahmed often disagreed with the Shaikh, but even in disagreement, he found the Shaikh's learning attractive and infectious. The more he listened to the Shaikh, the more he was drawn to him. It never dawned on Ahmed that the U.S. was being taken over by Israel, and would no longer be a haven for opponents of regimes linked to Israel.

The Arrest of Shaikh Omar

The Shaikh was eventually arrested, charged, and convicted on trumped up charges, likely to please Hosni Mubarak, who was disturbed by the former's growing support in the U.S. Ahmed could hardly believe that a man of God could be arrested and brought to trial in the Land of the Free on terrorism charges, simply because he opposed the criminal regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Why is Ahmed Abdel Sattar in Prison?

The Zionists in New York wanted to 'get' Ahmed for his unwavering efforts to mobilize support to stop violation of the Shaikh's human rights. Initially they did not succeed, because U.S. law did not allow a person who stands up for the rights of a dissident to be labeled terrorist for his views. Ahmed had lived a clean life, giving the authorities no ammunition for their witch hunt against him.

Soon after 9-11, Ahmed's house was raided on the pretext that there might be weapons there. None were found. Then, in April 2002, he was arrested on charges which may only be described as absurd. The government had monitored his phone conversations with Egyptian dissidents, in which he'd urged opposition to Hosni Mubarak. Ahmed was kept in solitary confinement for a year and four months. When his case finally came up for review, the judge found there was no case of terrorism to be made against Ahmed.

Despite this, Ahmed continued to be held without bail. Because of his standing in the Egyptian community, upstanding members of the community offered their homes as collateral for bail. However, at the bail hearing, the judge accepted the prosecution notion that Ahmed was a "flight risk." As he was led away following the hearing, he waved to Lisa and his children and said: "Be not afraid. Allah is with us." (Slight abbreviation of the Prophet's (PBUH) words to Abu Bakr (R.A.) given in Sura Taubah.) From July 2003 onwards, the government held Ahmed without bail on frivolous charges of "soliciting violence" and "fraud."

On October 24, 2006, Ahmed was convicted and sentenced to 28 years in prison as punishment for his phone conversations with members of the Egyptian opposition. Sattar had been held in solitary confinement and on 24-hour lockdown for an extended period leading up to his conviction, and appeared pale at his sentencing. His co-defendants, Lynne Stewart and Mohammad Yousry were sentenced to 28 months and 20 months, respectively. In January 2007, Sattar was moved from New York to Colorado's infamous Supermax, far away from family and friends.

Left without head of household, Sattar's family was hounded and persecuted in New York. His sons were fired from their jobs by an employer who invoked 9-11 (as if these children had been personally involved in the event!). The bank accounts of Lisa Sattar, and the Sattar children were closed without explanation by Sovereign Bank, where they'd held accounts. They were completely and utterly abandoned by New York's major masajid and Majlis-e-Shura (largest Islamic organization in the New York area).

What You Can Do

1. Stay informed of Sattar's case:

Corporate media are not covering it, so check the following websites for updates:



2. Speak Out

The Muslim community and its friends are urged to speak out at every opportunity"Eid gatherings, khutbas, protest rallies, class discussions"for Ahmed. It is important to recognize that Ahmed is a political prisoner, who is in prison for his beliefs, and not because he has done anything wrong.

3. Write letters of concern and support to Ahmed:

Ahmed Abdel Sattar
U.S.P. Florence Admax
PO Box 8500
Florence CO 81226-8500

Remember to write responsibly. Do not mention anything illegal.

4. Contact Imam Siraj Wahhaj to ask why he is silent on Ahmed's case:

Imam Siraj Wahhaj

Masjid At-Taqwa

1184 Fulton Street

Brooklyn, NY 11216

(718) 622-0800

Siraj Wahhaj is imam at a major New York mosque; the Majlis-e-Shura is the largest Islamic organization in the New York area. Yet they have been entirely silent on Ahmed's case. Urge Imam Siraj Wahhaj and the Majlise-e-Shura of New York to speak out for Ahmed's human rights, or at the very least, to support Ahmed's innocent wife and family.

Abridged and updated from article in New Trend Magazine, originally published 8/9/2003.

New Trend Magazine


Biggest Islamic web site in the U.S.

Phone: (443) 869-5233

Email: butshikan@msn.com

Disclaimer: Views expressed are not necessarily shared by the editors. New Trend does not endorse violence of any kind. Information on news or views related to violence is for analysis and understanding, not for endorsement. New Trend is against racism, classism, gender superiority, Zionism and Imperialism. The Qur'an and the authentic Hadith are our foundation.

2001-10-27 Sat 15:23ct
Ahmed Abdel Sattar , the reknowned human rights activist, paralegal/translator to Shaikh Omar 'Abdel Rahman, ( NewTrendMag.org/rahman.html ) lived in Staten Island, New York. He went downstairs from his apartment to stop a fight between two 15-year olds. Minutes later, after he had come upstairs, the police entered his apartment without a search warrant claiming he had beaten up one of the young people. They had been keeping an eye on his apartment and used this opportunity to carry out a search without a warrant, messing up his home and disturbing his family.

2004-07-14 Wed 19:18ct
Lisa Abdel Sattar:
On July 7, 2004, after 8 months of reliable and prompt service my sons were fired from their jobs as busboys at the corner restaurant, The Elm Park Inn 238 MorningStar Rd. in Staten Island, NY 10303. We live two doors from this establishment which proved to be very convenient for the owners.

However, upon learning of my husbands incarceration, nationality/religion, the owner Jim Walsh, confided in a waitress that he had fired my sons because of who their father was. Knowing that this could have negative repercussions, he covered up by telling co workers that my sons were fired because business was slow and they needed to cut back.

Not satisfied with this explanation my oldest son, Omar 17, decided to look into the real reasons. After questioning the cooks and waitresses it was disclosed that they were indeed fired for who they are. My son Omar decided to go straight to the boss and ask him to his face why they were fired. Well, the truth came out in front of customers and other employees. "My wife died 9-11, every time I look at you I think of my wife and I don't want you working here!" My son told him that firing him for this reason was discrimination and that was illegal, not to mention the fact. His response," I don't care." Approximately half an hour later two men, 30-35 6ft. 200lbs, door asking for my 17 year old son. came to my They proceeded to tell him that if he caused any problems for his father or the business they would come back and take care of the problem and that he and his brother, Ali 15 yrs. old, should stay out of the restaurant.

During the incident I was on the phone with 911 explaining that there were two men at my door threatening my 17 year old son. It took police over 45 min to get here.

2005-11-09 Wed

4 Letters to the Judge

Amina Sattar
249 Hooker Pl.
Staten Island, NY 10303
Honorable John G. Knelt
500 Pearl St
New York, New York 10007

Dear Judge Koeltl,
Having my father gone is like having a part of my body gone I can't live without it. My father is more then you think he is. He is not just a man who is in jail and he is not a dangerous man. He is a father and a husband in a family who misses him very much. Not only is he in jail he is isolated when he shouldn't be. It hurts to know that my father won't be there when we graduate or when it is our birthday he is not there because you and the rest of the people think he is a "dangerous man". If you look at him and I mean really look at him you will see what I mean. You will see that he is hurting because there is a wall blocking him from the only thing he ever cared for, his family. He always would help a person in need. If you keep him in jail not only will be hurting him but you will be hurting his children and his wife. When I heard he was in jail my heart sank tears came streaming down my face and my mothers face. When I leave from the visit it hurts that he won't be walking though those doors with us.

Every day I look at my mother and see her pain even underneath her smile I see what she is feeling. I see that she is hurt just like the rest of my family. I see that she wants someone to talk to when we are at school and she is left alone. When my father would come home from work I remember jumping up and down and hugging him and kissing him and him hugging me. And since he was taken away I will never feel that feeling again. When I would come home he would always want to know how my day was and what happened that day.

If you have kids, I don't know, but if you do god forbid one of them had to be sent to Europe or Egypt. And you can only see them once a month or once a year wouldn't you feel isolated would you feel like that there is hole in side of you that can't be filled? Well that's how my family and I feel. I just cant stand the fact that only my mom will be there to make me feel better or help me with homework or most of all to pick me up when I'm down. Yes he may be in jail and yes you may think he is dangerous but he is kind and he is a wonderful man. Just please if my father was home I would be the happiest girl in the world. So please I beg you listen to what we are saying and let him come home sooner rather than never.

Thank you very much.

Ali Sattar
249 Hooker Place
Staten Island, New York 10303
Honorable Judge John G. Koeltl
United States Court House
500 Pearl St.
New York, New York 10007

Dear Judge,
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Ali Sattar. I am seventeen and I am the son of Ahmed Sattar. I feel in my heart my father Ahmed Sattar deserves the least amount of punishment possible. Although I feel he has done nothing wrong, I plead with you to give my father a lenient sentence. I haven't been able to experience my fathers presence at my junior high school graduation and now I'm a senior in high school, sadly I know that he will not make it to my graduation this year. I know my father would pay anything to see me graduate; he is a good man, and a great father. I can honestly say my family has drastically changed due to the absence of my father, but we still pray that he will come home soon.

This experience has changed my life as well. Dealing with the hardship of seeing him in an orange jumpsuit trying to keep a smile and getting our hopes up has been difficult. Looking at his face when I would show up at the courtroom, the bliss and enthusiasm that I saw in his eyes, as he heard our young voices on the countless phone calls was painful for both of us.

These past three years I wished and prayed that my father would come home soon, and I ask you, please be fair and give my father a chance to eat a home cooked meal, play sports with my brothers and me, watch cartoons and have a good time with his family. My life has changed, I may not know till later on in life how extreme it was, but I know I want to go through the rest of my life knowing my dad has a chance to be happy before he leaves this life. Please consider handing down a fair decision and allow my father to come home. Our family is the kind of family that works the best when we are all together.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my letter.


Omar Sattar
249 Hooker Place
Staten island NY 10303
Hon. Judge John Koeltle
Unites States Courthouse
500 Pearl St.
New York, New York 10007.
October 22, 2005
Dear Judge Koeltle,

My name is Omar Sattar. My father, Ahmed Sattar, was unfortunately found guilty in your courtroom on February 10, 2005. As the oldest son I feel it is my duty to write to you in an effort to show you the kind of father, husband and man Ahmed Sattar is and what life with out him has meant to me. I know it is your job to put criminals and law breakers away. People who have committed crimes of any form that is punishable by law should be put away. The same goes for my father a man who was found guilty of the charges brought upon him. But if anybody knows my father it is my family. Although I know that he did not commit any crimes or plan to I feel that an injustice has been done. My father is a man of honesty and kindness, he wouldn't attempt to hurt any one or even think about it.

As far as I can remember in my life I can recall my father lessons. Most importantly how he wanted us to be good children and then grow to be better adults. I remember his expectations for us everyday. On the day of high school graduation this past June I was walking down the aisle thinking of how proud my father would be if he could see me, but more importantly how honored I am to be his son. I am now attending the College of Staten Island and think of him every time I enter the campus. I think of how much he has missed in my life, all of which we can never recapture. I will forever hold his lessons in my heart and I thank god every day for the father I have.

I cannot lie to you, his absence has devastated my family, but we are living every day; doing good not bad, kindness not selfishness and respecting life as both our father and our religion has taught us. I have struggled quite often to try to understand why this is happening to my family and I can't understand. This is Ahmed Sattar the father, husband, supporter to his family not a criminal mastermind. Yes, he has views, like so many people but his views were just that and nothing more. My father would never jeopardize what he has worked so hard to accomplish in his family.

Honestly Judge Koeltle I don't think my father has the heart to do anything he's accused of. This is why I am asking if you could find it in your heart to be lenient when you are determining his sentence and make it so he still has enough time to see his children grow up, meet grandchildren and experience old age with my mom, I know this would mean everything to me and my family.

I thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my letter. I only hope that you can now see Ahmed Sattar the way I do.

Respectively yours,
Omar Ahmed Sattar

Lisa Sattar
249 Hooker Place
Staten Island, New York 10303
Hon. John G. Koeltl,
U.S.D.J. United States Courthouse
500 Pearl St, New York NY 10007-1316

Dear Judge John Koeltl,

On February 10, 2005, a life changing decision was made by a jury in your courtroom. I have tried for almost four years to understand how my husband has arrived at this defining moment in his life by speaking his mind. After a lengthy trial, the majority of the jurors found all three of the defendants guilty on all counts. Although I don't agree with the verdict, as could be expected, I must accept it. However, I felt it was my duty as a wife and mother to provide you with a better insight to the man, Ahmed Abdel Sattar, one that was not presented in court papers, evidence or open courtroom proceedings; An insight that hopefully will be of assistance in your decision that will prove to be not only a decision that will affect both my husband and I, but most importantly, our children.

You've heard testimony from the defendant, my husband, Mr. Sattar about his life and his experiences both in Egypt and America, how we met, married and had a family together and of course his political views. You heard from Mr. Morvillo, Mr. Dember, and the rest of the government's team their opinion of the kind of man Mr. Sattar is, a cold hearted individual with no regard for human life, this based exclusively on transcripts and the reputations of others. I am convinced that you cannot truthfully evaluate a person unless you have actually had a chance to become acquainted with them. Yet there is still so much that remains undisclosed about the true character of Ahmed Sattar.

In 1985 I came to New York on a vacation from Chicago, I had no idea I would never return. I met Ahmed my second day in New York and subsequently gained employment at the same restaurant where he was working. We married four months after we met regardless of our different religions and cultures. I have learned from Ahmed that although today's society is filled with such diversity, it is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience and learn from one another. He is an educated man who enjoys sharing his knowledge, both religious and historical. I can honestly say it was because of him I returned to the academic world and am now majoring in history. Ahmed is a firm believer in educating oneself and I am grateful to him for this.

Ahmed is and will always be a man with morals and values. This is evident in our children. Although religion is a major component of our children's upbringing, Ahmed has inspired them to be proud of who they were and of their diverse heritage. He taught them the qualities that we believe all children should possess regardless of race or religion. Honesty, respect, kindness as well as compassion towards all, qualities that are almost non existent in our youth today, are his legacy to our children. With this solid foundation of values our children have been very successful thus far in all that they have come across.

Judge Koeltl, I have observed you in the courtroom and have witnessed your fair evaluation of all matters brought to your attention. I pray that you carry out the same fairness in the matter of the sentencing phase if this case. I am aware of the seriousness of the verdict for the charges in this case and reiterate the fact that Ahmed Sattar is not a dangerous man, nor is a danger to his community. He does not deserve to spend the rest of his life in a federal prison. I realize that there must be a sentence imposed here, but I implore you set aside the guide lines and grant my family's request for leniency. Grant us the opportunity to grow old together, rather than apart.

I express my gratitude for your time in considering this request.

click here to email NewTrendMag@yahoo.com
[ Deutsch ][ Espa˝ol ][ Franšais ][ Italiano ]
[ Home ][ Transcript ][ Photos ][ Comments ]
[ Excite.com ][ Kephyr.com ][ NewTrendMag.org ][ RefDesk.com ]
[ email a link to this page ][ back ][ print ][ close window ]

2015-05-18 Mon 06:49ct