The New York Post (http://nyp.st/2yvbqWJ) reported that Omar Ahmed Sattar graduated the FDNY Fire Academy in October.
His father, Ahmed Abel Sattar, is serving a 24 year prison sentence after being convicted in 2005 of “soliciting crimes of violence” which specifically included targeting Jews. According to the federal charges brought against the elder Sattar, he and a co-conspirator issued a call in the name of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 terror attack on the World Trade Center, to kill Jews in 2000.
A website established in Sattar’s defense described him as a victim of “the Zionists in New York” and a letter written by the younger Sattar asking for leniency in his father’s sentencing said that his father’s opinions were “just that and nothing more.”
30 year old Omar Sattar was one of 279 newly graduated firefighters in a class that also included the son of a firefighter whose father died at Ground Zero in the 9/11 terror attack.
According to FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer, it was unclear whether the department was aware of Sattar’s father’s history when they assigned him to Engine Co. 282 located on 12th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets. Dwyer noted that all potential firefighters are subject to comprehensive background checks.
Retired NYPD sergeant Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that while Sattar’s appointment may mark the first time the city has hired someone with a family background of terrorism, the fact that he passed the mandatory background check qualified him to serve as a firefighter.
“We can’t hold him accountable for the sins of the father,” said Giacolone. “You gotta give this kid a fair shot.”
As a firefighter, Sattar would have relatively free access to hospitals, crime scenes and other official sites, a fact that had some FDNY members expressing incredulity about Sattar’s appointment.
“They should hire Osama bin Laden’s son and put him in the same firehouse,” said one FDNY employee.
An FDNY Facebook post written this evening showed a picture of a smiling Sattar in his fire department attire, saying that becoming a firefighter had been a lifelong dream.
The post quoted Sattar, who has been with city’s Department of Sanitation for three years, as saying “I respect FDNY members and I am humbled to have this opportunity 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.”