Ex-analyst under Obama guarantees bail for alleged bomb-throwing lawyer
A former intelligence analyst who worked in both the Departments of State and Defense during the Obama administration guaranteed bail for a New York lawyer who allegedly fire bombed an NYPD vehicle — calling her “my best friend.”
Salmah Rizvi, a NYU Law grad who now works for the prestigious DC firm Ropes & Grey, helped secure the release of fellow lawyer Urooj Rahman by agreeing to be a suretor for her bail during a bail hearing in Brooklyn federal court Monday, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
“Urooj Rahman is my best friend and I am an associate at the law firm Ropes & Gray in Washington, D.C. I earn $255,000 a year,” Rivzi told the judge, who sprang her over prosecutors’ objections.
Rizvi’s intelligence work for the feds involved “focusing primarily on sanctioned finance operations,” according to her bio on Ropes & Grey’s website, which also touts her pro bono legal work.
She “maintains an active civil rights and human rights pro bono practice, focused on prison reform, LGBTQ equality, and immigration. She represents asylum seekers at various stages of litigation,” it says.
Her LinkedIn page says she worked for the feds from May 2008 to August 2013.
She also worked as a legal intern for the NYCLU from September 2014 to May 2015, and for US Attorney’s office in Manhattan from September 2015 to January 2016, according to the page.
Her bio at the Islamic Scholarship Fund added that “her high-value work would often inform the President’s Daily Briefs.”
The group gave Rizvi a law school scholarship sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an organization critics call anti-Israel and supportive of terrorism but which describes itself as “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization.”
Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman are accused of driving around near the 88th Precinct stationhouse in Fort Greene on Friday night and early Saturday and trying to pass out Molotov cocktails to crowds protesting the death of George Floyd who were clashing with police.
Soon before 1 a.m., Rahman allegedly got out of the minivan Mattis was driving and tossed one of the firebombs into an empty cop car near the stationhouse.
They were arrested nearby and charged federally with causing damage with fire and explosives to a cop car.
Prosecutors decried Rahman’s release during Monday’s hearing.
“We don’t believe this is the time to be releasing a bomb-thrower like the defendant into the community,” argued federal prosecutor Ian Richardson.
Judge Margo Brodie acknowledged the strong evidence against Rahman, who was also accused of distributing the incendiary devices to other rioters, but agreed to grant her bail due to the “willingness of family and friends to sign on as suretors,” according to a report from Law360.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors then filed an appeal Tuesday with the Second Circuit Court to stay the release of the 31-year-old Rahman and her alleged accomplice, lawyer Colinford Mattis, 32.
They argued in the appeal that the nature of the crime — which they believe to have strong evidence was committed by Mattis and Rahman — warranted the detention of the pair until their trials.
“The defendants’ criminal conduct was extraordinarily serious. Amid the largely peaceful demonstrations taking place on Friday night, Mattis and Rahman committed an act of potentially deadly violence,” prosecutors wrote.
“The actions endangered NYPD officers, as well as other individuals on the street in close proximity to the attack,” they added.
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