Sabadia’s run-ins with the law should have raised further red flags for those vetting him. On January 21, 1985, Sabadia was hit with a seven-count federal indictment (Central District of Illinois) for selling electronic devices “primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of wire or oral communications,” contrary to Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2512. Investigators had caught him peddling “telephone drop-in FM transmitters,” “ink pen FM transmitters,” and “‘snooper’ contact microphones.” Sabadia pleaded guilty to three counts and was sentenced to three years of probation for each, set to run concurrently, and insignificant fines and restitution.
Besides outing his past criminality, the 1985 court papers expose Sabadia’s former name, Abdur Rahim Noormohamed, which can still be found on various websites. It turns up somewhere else as well: in documents that place Noormohamed/Sabadia at the heart of an immigration dispute during the 1970s.
Four years after the Pentagon suspended the security clearance of Rahim Sabadia — a South African-born, California-based defense contractor who has bankrolled the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — new discoveries raise questions about how he had been permitted to hold one in the first place.
Concerns about Sabadia initially came to light in a 2011 article by Matt Pearce and Brooke Williams for the Orange County Register. While researching the millions of taxpayer dollars that had been flowing to Sabadia’s Sabtech Industries — thanks, in part, to earmarks from Gary Miller, a Republican congressman whose campaign chest was regularly filled by Sabadia and his wife — the journalists learned that Sabadia had lost his secret-level clearance in 2010.
The authors note that Sabadia, via the Sabadia Family Foundation (SFF), distributes money to “many Islamic education, relief, and humanitarian organizations,” and “one of the foundation’s large beneficiaries — receiving at least $1.2 million since 2002 — is the Council on American-Islamic Relations.” CAIR has been on the outs in Washington due to its designation as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against the Holy Land Foundation, a charity convicted in 2008 of funneling millions to Hamas.