Verdict reached by jury in Fla. Taliban case
Jurors find Hafiz Khan, 77, was found guilty of financially aiding Taliban terrorists in Pakistan
A federal jury in Miami has reached a verdict in the trial of a Muslim cleric accused of providing financial support to the Pakistani Taliban.
South Florida imam Hafiz Khan, 77, was found guilty of financially aiding Taliban terrorists in Pakistan.
Khan faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on each of four terrorism support-related charges.
Prosecutors say evidence proved that Khan sent about $50,000 to the Taliban, labeled a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. They say hundreds of FBI recordings show Khan was an eager supporter.
Khan testified that he opposes the Taliban and that the money went for charity, family needs and a religious school he owns in Pakistan's Swat Valley.
The Khan family came to the U.S. in 1994 sponsored by uncle.
Two other sons had similar cases dismissed by judge. The family hoped Hafiz Khan's case would be same.
"I did the same thing and my charges were dropped by the prosecutors," said Khan's son, Irfan. "And my father did the same thing and just because he said a few stupid things they convicted him on all four counts. Since we didn't have the opportunity for the Pakistani witnesses to come on, he might have had the opportunity to explain himself better."
" I think what it ultimately comes down to is, a charge of "material support," said Khurrum Wahid, Khan's attorney. It's so broad that one can simply use words and say something and that can theoretically, as in this case, be enough. Because that's all this case was: words. There was no actual conduct in this case. The government's FBI witnesses on the stand made clear, they don't even know how much money went. They don't have a clue."
"We did prove $36,350, where that all went, out of $44,500 the government was alleging. So I think we did a good job of proving where the money went and then the money that we didn't prove by witnesses, we proved through the phone calls because he is very clear where each dollar should go. Not one dollar did he designate to the Taliban," said Wahid.
"I saw a lot of negative comments right after I was released from people who were supporting to behead me right out in the open," said Irfan Khan.
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