The 279 firefighters who graduated from the FDNY Academy final month embody the son of a firefighter killed on 9/11 — and the son of a terrorist.
Rookie firefighter Omar Ahmed Sattar, 30, is the eldest son of Ahmed Abdel Sattar, who was convicted in 2005 of “soliciting crimes of violence” and conspiracy to homicide Jews.
The elder Sattar, now 58, was a seemingly mild-mannered postal-service employee elevating his household in Staten Island. Behind his peaceable facade, the court docket discovered, he was an Islamist extremist who used his residence as a communications hub to additional the schemes of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Muslim cleric who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six, in addition to failed plots to explode different New York City buildings and tunnels.
Ahmed Sattar, a ok a Abu Omar and Dr. Ahmed, was tried together with Rahman’s radical protection lawyer, Lynne Stewart, and one other accused terrorist, Mohammed Yousry.
According to federal fees, he and a co-conspirator in 2000 printed a fatwa, or Islamic ruling, in Rahman’s identify, calling for the killing of Jewish civilians.
He and cohorts additionally tried to make use of the Oct. 12, 2000, al Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 US sailors, to extort the US into releasing Rahman from jail, court docket papers say.
A Web web site arrange in Ahmed Sattar’s protection, ahmedabdelsattar.org, says that the Egyptian immigrant had “deep roots in America” and that he studied the Quran and “became an opponent of the murderous Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt.”
It says Ahmed Sattar “lived a clean life” and blames the costs in opposition to him on “a witch hunt” by New York “Zionists.”
In a letter to the sentencing choose, Omar, then an 18-year-old scholar on the College of Staten Island, begged for leniency.
“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,” Omar wrote.
“Yes, he has views, like so many people, but his views were just that and nothing more.”
Omar, who has two youthful brothers and a sister, stated his father raised his children nicely.
“Most importantly, he wanted us to be good children and then grow up to be better adults,” he wrote. “I will forever hold his lessons in my heart, and I thank god every day for the father I have.”
Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl sentenced Ahmed Sattar to 24 years in jail. He is serving time within the federal penitentiary in Marion, Ill., which as soon as held Mafia godfather John Gotti.
In an announcement to The Post, the younger fireman didn’t point out his father, however described how his new job is a dream come true.
“This is what I have always wanted to do. This is who I have always wanted to be. I have always admired firefighters,” he stated.
He recalled when, as an Eight-year-old, he got here residence from faculty to search out his household standing outdoors their charred condominium, heartbroken over the destiny of their lacking cat, Tootsie.
“One of the firefighters standing in the street overheard, walked over and asked who was missing,” Sattar recalled.
“My mother replied, ‘Our cat,’ and he went up and found her hiding under a bed and brought her down,” he stated.
“I remember being impressed and in awe of what just happened. … I respect FDNY members, and I am humbled to have this opportunity to be a part of this incredible Department. The FDNY is a family that always supports each other, and now I am living it. It means the world to me to be here. When I look back on my career as a firefighter, I want to know that I did the best I could with the opportunity I was given.”
Omar’s mom, Lisa, defended her husband on-line as “a man with morals and values.” She additionally complained that Omar and a brother had been victims of unlawful discrimination when the proprietor of an area restaurant fired them as busboys in July 2004.
“My son Omar decided to go straight to the boss and ask him to his face why they were fired,” she wrote. “Well, the truth came out in front of customers and other employees: ‘My wife died on 9-11, every time I look at you I think of my wife and I don’t want you working here!’ ”
Lisa Sattar, alongside together with her three different grownup youngsters, attended “family day” on the FDNY Academy on Randalls Island final month. She posted a Facebook picture of Omar in his FDNY jacket marked “SATTAR.”
On commencement day, she posted photographs of Omar accepting his probationary firefighter certificates from Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and holding it up.
“I am so proud of you my son. May Allah bless you and keep you safe,” she wrote.
Also graduating that day was John Palombo, whose firefighter dad, Frank, was killed within the World Trade Center terror badaults that claimed 343 Bravest on Sept. 11, 2001. Last 12 months, John’s brother Thomas additionally joined the FDNY.
The division badigned Sattar to Engine Co. 282 in Borough Park, a closely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.
An FDNY spokesman wouldn’t say whether or not the division knew of the elder Sattar’s prison file when it employed the son.
“All individuals — prior to appointment as a firefighter — must pbad a comprehensive background check,” stated the spokesman, Frank Dwyer.
Officials famous that Omar Sattar labored for the town Sanitation Department for 3 years earlier than becoming a member of the FDNY.
Several FDNY workers who realized of Sattar’s household historical past are involved, saying uniformed firefighters have just about free entry to hospitals, crime scenes and different official areas.
Others had been incredulous.
“They should hire Osama bin Laden’s son and put him in the same firehouse,” one cracked.
Another recalled Kevin Shea, a firefighter with Manhattan’s Rescue Co. 1, who raced to the 1993 WTC bombing. While making an attempt to succeed in a sufferer, Shea fell 45 toes right into a pile of rubble, breaking bones. His leather-based helmet was credited with saving his life. Shea later looked for survivors at Ground Zero.
But Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, stated sons or daughters of criminals can, and do, serve with distinction.
“This will probably be the first time we’ve hired someone with a family history of terrorism,” Giacalone stated.
But he added, “If he pbaded the background check, we can’t hold him accountable for the sins of the father. You gotta give this kid a fair shot.”
Said FDNY spokesman Jim Long, “Omar Sattar will be judged on the merits of Omar Sattar.”