FDNY Disqualified Combat Veterans, Lawsuit Claims, While Hiring Son of Convicted Terrorist
A lawsuit filed in September alleges that the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) actively discriminated against U.S. military combat veterans based on stereotypes of PTSD. Simultaneously, the FDNY hired the son of a convicted terrorist who had publicly defended his terrorist leader father.
The discrimination claims were made in a lawsuit filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Julio Andrade, who served in the U.S. Marines from 2005-2009 with two tours in Iraq. He was given an honorable discharge and was coded eligible for reenlistment.
But after having passed the physical and psychological written exams to enter the FDNY Academy, he was later disqualified by the FDNY chief medical officer because of an 8-year-old diagnosis of PTSD.
This was despite independent psychological reports that cleared him of any impairment.
It is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act to discriminate on the basis of disability.
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported yesterday that the son of a convicted terrorist just graduated from the FDNY Academy last month:
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 murder Jews.
The elder Sattar, now 58, was a seemingly mild-mannered postal-service worker raising his family in Staten Island. Behind his peaceful facade, the court found, he was an Islamist extremist who used his home as a communications hub to further the schemes of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Muslim cleric who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six, as well as failed plots to blow up other New York City buildings and tunnels.
Ahmed Sattar, aka Abu Omar and Dr. Ahmed, was tried along with Rahman’s radical defense lawyer, Lynne Stewart, and another accused terrorist, Mohammed Yousry.
According to federal charges, he and a co-conspirator in 2000 published a fatwa, or Islamic ruling, in Rahman’s name, calling for the killing of Jewish civilians.
He and cohorts also tried to use the Oct. 12, 2000, al Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 US sailors, to extort the US into freeing Rahman from prison, court papers say.
The Post notes that Sattar defended his father in a letter to the judge asking for leniency.
The elder Sattar was sentenced to 24 years in prison. The blind sheikh, serving a life sentence, died in February of this year in a North Carolina federal prison:
To enter the FDNY Academy, the younger Sattar passed a background check. However, recall that Orlando mass killer Omar Mateen had passed an extensive background check for his Florida Class D security officer license -- despite two prior FBI investigations for his extremism.
The background check-approved Omar Mateen went on to murder 49 in the ISIS-inspired Pulse night club massacre in June 2016.
Meanwhile, Julio Andrade was disqualified from entering the FDNY Academy based only upon a 15-minute interview with FDNY psychologists. The Daily Beast reported:
[D]uring his application process, Andrade claimed a disabled veterans credit, which gives applicants 10 additional points on their exam. A pre-discharge examination from the Veterans Administration found that Andrade had a disability rating of 30 percent because of PTSD and 10 percent because of the traumatic brain injury after two tours in Iraq with the Marines, including active combat duty in places such as Ramadi, from 2005 to 2009.
Andrade, who started military training the day after his graduation from high school, was honorably discharged at the end of his second tour and classified as eligible for reenlistment.
“It’s not something that hinders my lifestyle,” Andrade said of his diagnosis.
FDNY psychologists disagreed. During a 15-minute interview in September 2015 as part of his oral psychological evaluation, psychiatrist Kevin Kelly made statements such as “people with PTSD can’t socialize” and “having a job is difficult” for them, according to the complaint.
Andrade was issued a notice of disqualification for psychological reasons on Feb. 29, 2016 ... The evaluations were based on stereotypes of people with PTSD rather than a current assessment of Andrade’s mental-health status and abilities, said Maia Goodell, a senior staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal organization that filed the complaint.
“The law requires the FDNY to give veterans like Julio Andrade a fair evaluation of their ability to do the job,” said Goodell.
One retired FDNY firefighter told PJ Media that the disparity in treatment that Andrade received, in contrast to Omar Sattar, was an outrage:
Under the DeBlasio administration we've seen FDNY standards lowered to accommodate unqualified applicants, while combat veterans with disabilities, who are physically and psychologically qualified and who are supposed to receive additional preference for their disabled veteran status, get penalized.
And now we have this son-of-a-terrorist rookie, whose father was part of the Blind Sheikh's cell that did the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and gave Al-Qaeda the greenlight to attack America, leading to 9/11. We've seen this infiltration before, and to see it happening again is outrageous.
The retired FDNY firefighter was referring to the investigation into now-retired FDNY accountant Ahmed Amin Refai, another associate of the blind sheikh. Refai was accused by legendary FDNY Marshal Ronnie Bucca of complicity with the Blind Sheikh's terror cell after the 1993 WTC bombing.
FDNY Marshal Bucca was killed on 9/11.
He and Battalion Chief Orio Palmer were known to have made it to the 78th floor impact zone of the South Tower before it collapsed -- making it higher than any of the other 343 FDNY firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.
Bucca began investigating Refai in 1999, after Refai filed a bogus report to get a new building identification pass for department headquarters, the book says.
Bucca was alarmed by Refai's association with Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The marshal uncovered TV footage of Refai escorting Abdel-Rahman through a crowd at a New Jersey mosque and learned he was also acquainted with El Sayed A Nosair, who assassinated Jewish Defense League leader Meir Kahane in 1990.
That year, Refai took a pile of Trade Center blueprints that had been tossed out by the FDNY, the book says. When the complex was bombed, Refai called in sick, Lance reports.
Now retired, Refai denied any wrongdoing. He admitted to Lance that he met Abdel-Rahman and other terror figures but said he wasn't close to them. He also denied taking the blueprints and blamed the attacks on a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy.
Before his murder on 9/11, FDNY Marshal Bucca was the FDNY representative to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
A FBI New York spokesman later rejected the allegations against Refai.
The New York Post reported that Omar Sattar has been assigned to Engine Co. 282 in Borough Park, a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.
Julio Andrade's discrimination lawsuit is currently being heard by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.