case_file_plain_abu_tauba

Abu Taubah

Image:

His family have launched an appeal for his legal costs to be covered, the details of how you can pay are below.  
 

UPDATE

30 April 2015: 
 
A message from Abu Taubah's wife: "Today is sentencing day alHamdulillah and instead of worrying about what the judicial system has in mind for us we are accepting whatever it is that Allah has in store for us. As the reality is that whatever happens today was already written and will be executed in the perfect plan of Allah. May Allah give us tawfeeq, forgive us our sins and free Abu Taubah. Ameen" – Umm Taubah
 

Background

Abu Taubah (aka Marcus Robertson) was born and raised in New York. He later became a marine in the US army. 
 
After embracing Islam, he spent several years studying traditional Islam, most notably in Mauritania.
 
He mastered the Arabic language, memorised the Qur’an and gained ijaazat (authorisation to teach) in several Islamic sciences.
 
He later founded the Foundation of Islamic Knowledge & Seminary (FIKS), teaching Islam online to students all around the world.
 
His style of teaching made him a very popular imam and led him to tour the English-speaking world as well as record TV programs for Islamic channels. 
 

Arrest 

In August 2011, Abu Taubah was arrested by the FBI and later charged with "Constructive Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon", an offence which only necessitates the knowledge of the presence of a firearm and the ability to access it. No motive to commit a crime is needed.
 
Even though Abu Taubah admitted he had been convicted for felony 20 years ago, he also explained that as a former marine and member of the special operations community, he was not in the possession of an illegal firearm in his home. 
 
Actually, during the past 20 years, he had been in the physical and constructive possession of firearms on the behest of the government several times.
 
Nevertheless, he had to plead guilty and faced a sentence from zero to ten years. 
 
He was also charged with conspiracy to submit a fraudulent tax return.
 
However, Abu Taubah was suddenly facing a much longer sentence when the prosecution attempted to portray him as a radicaliser sending people to train overseas.
 
Under US law, a judge can apply an extra length to the sentence in a criminal case, even where there was no actual allegation of terrorism by linking the defendant, often Muslim, to terrorism.
 
In Abu Taubah’s case, the prosecution mainly relied on conversation between him and a young man he was counselling. His encouragement to go to hajj and memorise the Qur’an in Mauritania were interpreted as facilitation to train for violent action.
 
The young man had stated to an undercover FBI that he wanted to travel abroad, fight and die on the battlefield.
 
These so-called “sting operations” are widely criticised and often described as entrapment. Having conducted over 215 interviews, Human Rights Watch concluded that “many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring, and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
 
It added that “the FBI often targeted particularly vulnerable people, including those with intellectual and mental disabilities and the indigent”.
 
This is especially concerning since ““the bar on entrapment in US law is so high that it’s almost impossible for a terrorism suspect to prove”.
 

Conditions of detention

In November 2012, Abu Taubah was placed in solitary confinement. This included being kept in a concrete cell with no mirror and no window, under bright lights 24 hours a day while being recorded by a video camera. Likewise, he was deprived of his mail, legal papers and books including the Qur’an.
 
Extended period of solitary confinement have been described as torture by Juan Mendez, the UN rapporteur on torture.
 
In October 2014, after two years in solitary confinement, Abu Taubah gave a glimpse of his life in prison:
“For the past two years, I have been held in solitary confinement. In addition, kept in chains around my legs and waist for hours at a time. Besides my family, I have not seen another Muslim in two years. Nor have I had physical contact with human beings except the guards when they chain me up and unchain me. My visit is between a glass wall and on the phone, not physical. My cell has been a completely concrete room with no windows. Up until a month and a half ago, the lights stayed on for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is no clock nor mirror. I haven’t seen myself and never know what time it is. They give me three hours of sunlight every seven days, but if it is, raining or drizzling then it is cancelled without making it up. A few days ago, my ankles could not take it anymore. After two years, the strain from the shackles finally rubbed my skin off the ankles. The guard gave me permission to wear socks under the chains. But they got so sticky from blood that when the nurse pulled them off the infected wound stuck and pulled more skin completely off leaving large lesions”
 

Secret evidence

Much of the “evidence” attempting to show Abu Taubah’s involvement were presented in secret proceedings, not allowing him to be present or even be made aware of it.
 

Condition

Abu Taubah is due for sentencing on 30 April 2015.
 

Appeal

Send funds to the family of Abu Taubah for legal costs, $10,000 are still needed to cover the costs of experts: 
 
By Mail Union:     
The FIKS 
12040 Fambridge Road
Orlando, Florida  
32837      
USA
 
By Wire Transfer:      
Wells Fargo Bank 
Orlando, FL    
Swift: WFBIUS6S                                                                                                                                                                  Routing: 121000248
Account: 3268158825
Name: MakeenAbdus-salaam
 
By Paypal:    
By clicking here
 
By Western Union:
MakeenAbdus-Salaam
Orlando, Florida

 

 

NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

abu-taubah_0

Urgent appeal for Abu Taubah

Image:

Extract Summary:

Abu Taubah was a Marine in the US army, after embracing Islam he spent several years studying Islam until he was able to teach it himself. He was convicted of possessing a firearm and conspiracy to commit a fraudulent tax return. He is due to be sentenced on 30 April 2015 for these offences, the Judge is allowed to link him to terrorism in order to increase the sentence (even though there is no link to terrorism in this case).

Abu Taubah was a Marine in the US army, after embracing Islam he spent several years studying Islam until he was able to teach it himself. He was convicted of possessing a firearm and conspiracy to commit a fraudulent tax return. He is due to be sentenced on 30 April 2015 for these offences, the Judge is allowed to link him to terrorism in order to increase the sentence (even though there is no link to terrorism in this case). His family have launched an appeal for his legal costs to be covered, the details of how you can contribute are below.  
 
(Image taken from FIKS)
 

UPDATE

30 April 2015: 
 
A message from Abu Taubah's wife: "Today is sentencing day alHamdulillah and instead of worrying about what the judicial system has in mind for us we are accepting whatever it is that Allah has in store for us. As the reality is that whatever happens today was already written and will be executed in the perfect plan of Allah. May Allah give us tawfeeq, forgive us our sins and free Abu Taubah. Ameen" – Umm Taubah
 

Appeal

Send funds to the family of Abu Taubah for legal costs, $10,000 are still needed to cover the costs of experts: 
 
By Mail Union:     
The FIKS 
12040 Fambridge Road
Orlando, Florida  
32837      
USA
 
By Wire Transfer:      
Wells Fargo Bank 
Orlando, FL    
Swift: WFBIUS6S                                                                                                                                                                  Routing: 121000248
Account: 3268158825
Name: MakeenAbdus-salaam
 
By Paypal:    
By clicking here
 
By Western Union:
MakeenAbdus-Salaam
Orlando, Florida
 

Background

Abu Taubah (aka Marcus Robertson) was born and raised in New York. He later became a marine in the US army. 
 
After embracing Islam, he spent several years studying traditional Islam, most notably in Mauritania.
 
He mastered the Arabic language, memorised the Qur’an and gained ijaazat (authorisation to teach) in several Islamic sciences.
 
He later founded the Foundation of Islamic Knowledge & Seminary (FIKS), teaching Islam online to students all around the world.
 
His style of teaching made him a very popular imam and led him to tour the English-speaking world as well as record TV programs for Islamic channels. 
 

Arrest 

In August 2011, Abu Taubah was arrested by the FBI and later charged with "Constructive Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon", an offence which only necessitates the knowledge of the presence of a firearm and the ability to access it. No motive to commit a crime is needed.
 
Even though Abu Taubah admitted he had been convicted for felony 20 years ago, he also explained that as a former marine and member of the special operations community, he was not in the possession of an illegal firearm in his home. 
 
Actually, during the past 20 years, he had been in the physical and constructive possession of firearms on the behest of the government several times.
 
Nevertheless, he had to plead guilty and faced a sentence from zero to ten years. 
 
He was also charged with conspiracy to submit a fraudulent tax return.
 
However, Abu Taubah was suddenly facing a much longer sentence when the prosecution attempted to portray him as a radicaliser sending people to train overseas.
 
Under US law, a judge can apply an extra length to the sentence in a criminal case, even where there was no actual allegation of terrorism by linking the defendant, often Muslim, to terrorism.
 
In Abu Taubah’s case, the prosecution mainly relied on conversation between him and a young man he was counselling. His encouragement to go to hajj and memorise the Qur’an in Mauritania were interpreted as facilitation to train for violent action.
 
The young man had stated to an undercover FBI that he wanted to travel abroad, fight and die on the battlefield.
 
These so-called “sting operations” are widely criticised and often described as entrapment. Having conducted over 215 interviews, Human Rights Watch concluded that “many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring, and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
 
It added that “the FBI often targeted particularly vulnerable people, including those with intellectual and mental disabilities and the indigent”.
 
This is especially concerning since ““the bar on entrapment in US law is so high that it’s almost impossible for a terrorism suspect to prove”.
 

Conditions of detention

In November 2012, Abu Taubah was placed in solitary confinement. This included being kept in a concrete cell with no mirror and no window, under bright lights 24 hours a day while being recorded by a video camera. Likewise, he was deprived of his mail, legal papers and books including the Qur’an.
 
Extended period of solitary confinement have been described as torture by Juan Mendez, the UN rapporteur on torture.
 
In October 2014, after two years in solitary confinement, Abu Taubah gave a glimpse of his life in prison:
“For the past two years, I have been held in solitary confinement. In addition, kept in chains around my legs and waist for hours at a time. Besides my family, I have not seen another Muslim in two years. Nor have I had physical contact with human beings except the guards when they chain me up and unchain me. My visit is between a glass wall and on the phone, not physical. My cell has been a completely concrete room with no windows. Up until a month and a half ago, the lights stayed on for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is no clock nor mirror. I haven’t seen myself and never know what time it is. They give me three hours of sunlight every seven days, but if it is, raining or drizzling then it is cancelled without making it up. A few days ago, my ankles could not take it anymore. After two years, the strain from the shackles finally rubbed my skin off the ankles. The guard gave me permission to wear socks under the chains. But they got so sticky from blood that when the nurse pulled them off the infected wound stuck and pulled more skin completely off leaving large lesions”
 

Secret evidence

Much of the “evidence” attempting to show Abu Taubah’s involvement were presented in secret proceedings, not allowing him to be present or even be made aware of it.
 

Condition

Abu Taubah is due for sentencing on 30 April 2015.
 

NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.