Cleric in US accused of funding Taliban

2013-01-05 10:50

Miami - A US prosecutor said on Friday that a Muslim cleric and his son who are accused of funnelling thousands of dollars to the Pakistani Taliban did so "in the name of a perverted form of the Muslim faith".

Hafiz Khan, 77, and his 26-year old son, Izhar Khan, have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support to terrorism. The elder Khan was imam at a Miami mosque, and his son held the same post at a suburban mosque.

They are accused of sending more than $50 000 to the Pakistani Taliban to help Taliban fighters after a Pakistan army offensive into the Swat Valley in summer 2009.

Each count the father and son face carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

In opening statements, assistant US Attorney John Shipley Jr said Hafiz Khan expressed his backing for the Taliban supporter who tried to plant a bomb in New York City's Times Square in summer 2010. The Pakistani Taliban has been linked to al-Qaeda, and authorities say the group was connected to the Times Square bombing attempt.

A starkly different picture was painted by the elder Khan's defence attorney, Khurrum Wahid, and the attorney for the son, Joseph Rosenbaum. They said prosecutors are misinterpreting thousands of phone conversations, intercepts and the bugged conversations of an informant.

Wahid told the jury that the elder cleric's words are filled with expressions of love for his madrassa, the school he founded in Pakistan's Swat Valley decades ago.

"He loved that school even more than his own family," Wahid said. He added that the cleric was lashing out verbally against those who hurt his people.

"He was speaking in words that were not politically correct," Wahid said.

Rosenbaum said the government had little evidence and in this case was "just plain wrong".

  • - 2013-01-05 11:07

    What's wrong with that?

      gorden.norman - 2013-01-05 12:24

      He is born in Pakistan now living in the US why then not stay in Pakistan, but no will support attacks against US. What wrong with that you ask ITS WRONG

  • ben.nevis.906 - 2013-01-05 11:13

    Words lead to actions in the minds of fanatics.

  • angelanair3 - 2013-01-05 11:18

    Sponsors of this type of terrorism should not be allowed! The atrocities will not only be aimed at Americans but innocents people in their own country. Like the cowards shooting a 16 year old girl in the name of their religion - all she wanted was to see young girls get educated and become independant young women! And the old man supports acts of terrorism? And he has been misinterpreted? I would like to see how this plays out - but maximum punishment if they are guilty - and the US should take their money and open more schools for girls in the Swat Valley! - 2013-01-05 11:31


      edries.omar.9 - 2013-01-05 11:54

      and the last few shootings were done by muslims ?no!by americans .americans will destroy themselves.muslims dont need to.your bias is obvious. we will never hear the media mention religion other than when its a muslim .

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-05 12:09

      Edries.. stop killing people and stay out of the news...

      tebogo.kumalo.3 - 2013-01-05 12:46

      edries.omar...who killed the most human beings in the history, HITLER. Was he a Muslim?? NO a Christian. Who killed more than 20 million people including 14.5 million who starved to death, Joseph Stalin called Uncle Joe. Was he a Muslim?? NO a Christian. Who killed 14-20 million people, Mao Tse Tsung (China) Was he a Muslim?? NO..In the Kalinga battle who killed 100 000 human beings? Ashoka Was he a Muslim?? NO..Who killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilean Muslims the last 10 years in Iraq and Afganistan?? George "Rubbish" Bush and Barrak Obama. Why does the world not call them terrorists?? because they NON MUSLIMS. ONLY MUSLIMS are called terrorists. I am not a Muslim so why do you brand the Muslims as terrorists? squeegee.pilot...Plse appeal to your NON Muslim brothers to stop killing people.

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-05 15:28

      Tebogo, you are clearly a Product of the Limpopo educational system. Even though not all these mass murderers where Christian, it would seem you are trying to somehow make a point that Christians, most of all, are mass murderers. Just because some of them called themselves Christian. You totally fail to note that even if all of these men where Christians, none of them killed all those people in the name of God, or to further the spread of the Christian faith. Unlike Muslims... The terrorists of 9/11 flew into the twin towers screaming praise to Allah. So, unlike the Hitler, killing because he's a mad man, Muslims kill for their faith. Also, note that even though not all Muslims are terrorists, all modern terrorists are Muslim! So, tebogo, get over the chip on your shoulder.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2013-01-05 11:41

    so it was ok for the likes of the kennedys to fund the ira but not for muslims to fund the taliban. Neither is right but the hypocrisy is obvious.

      henk63 - 2013-01-05 12:24

      You know, comments like this always make me wonder. "The apartheid government did that, so it's OK for the ANC to to this" and more. Times change, people advance, communication is better, understanding is easier, etc. Don't you get tired of digging up the past? Hypocrisy is when you support different views AT THE SAME TIME. What was the aim of the IRA? Independance. What is the aim of Muslims? To destroy the "Infidels". See the differnce patrick.saunders123?

      ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 13:21

      @patrick saunders123,dont expect thumbs ups for telling the truth.

      ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 13:56

      @henk63 you are of the distorted notion that muslims have time to worry about and kill people for their choice of beliefs,sorry,but u are wrong.No Islamic country has violated the sovereignty of a western country nor illegally occupied it to exploit it for its mineral wealth and oil.

      henk63 - 2013-01-05 15:14

      @ft.burhaak - Just saying I am wrong doesn't make it so. There are many verses in the Quran that clearly instuct you to do just that. You will know better than me. Besides, helping to extract and buying natural resources from a country hardly constitutes invading it.

      ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 16:23

      @henk63 Theres the truth and theres an opinion.You are expressing your opinion. You obviously may have read a verse in the Quran,and taken it out of context to distort its message.Quran stresses that muslims must live in peace,harmony and love with people if they live in peace with you.The Quran only warrants fighting against injustice and opression.Muslims havnt got time to worry about or kill people of other beliefs,because we are too busy striving to save ourselves also.

      raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-05 17:52

      ft.burhaak: I urge you to actually read the Quaran. What you are saying is the typical propaganda drivel. Read the book for yourself, AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SO-CALLED PROPHET. You will see, Sura 5,6 and 9 clearly has the opposite view of what you've said. Also, read the Hadith. Then you will have a better understanding of what your so-called faith actually demands.

      ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 18:12

      @RaymondMcnelly.with all our intellectuall differences and disputes il tell you whats not propaganda from the Quran 'By the Mount (of Revelation);by a Book Inscribed,in a parchment unfolded;by the much- frequented House;by the Canopy Raised High;and by the Ocean Filled with Swell;Verily the Doom of thy Lord will come to pass;-There is none can avert it;'quran 52:1-8

  • peterjohn.dyers - 2013-01-05 12:01

    This kind of reporting must be taken with a bag, not a pinch, of salt.It is interesting to note the picture that goes with the article. Pee-Jay

      fidelity.mcoshi - 2013-01-05 21:51

      Hear hear..propaganda!

  • ray.molekoa.5 - 2013-01-05 12:23

    Peace !

  • ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 12:41

    Due to the fact that muslims are suspected,victimised and falsely accused of being linked to Al Qaeda and Taliban,for expressing their views against the atrocities on the Islamic world they are reluctant to exercise their 'freedom of speech' .

  • ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 12:51

    To enlighten people,some of these Clerics are Auliya (Freinds of God) due to their extremely high spiritual status in the eyes of God.It is a bad idea to violate them.For eg. In the early 90's the 'Blind Sheik' was accused of conspiring '94 WTC bombing and was sentenced to life His remark on the sentencing was 'The West will fall'.

      gorden.norman - 2013-01-05 13:03

      Wow thats amazing

      ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 16:04

      @Gordon Norman.I only share information.In Islamic scripture we are told that there are 40 Abdals on the earth like pillars that filter Gods Energy onto the earth.No 1 knows who they are.When 1 dies,they are replaced by another.They are granted immense power by God to serve mankind.There is too much about them to discuss here.But can 1 imagine the consequences of violating 1 of them..And you dont have to believe me,and you are also at liberty to treat it as a joke,no offense:)

  • gorden.norman - 2013-01-05 12:54

    News 24 copy and past

  • ft.burhaak - 2013-01-05 13:12

    Man has assumed much 'power' through advanced technological achievements,the advent of highly sophisticated surveilance equiptment,and WMD's ,in an attempt to play God.Yet no man or army was ever able to avert a tsunami,hurricane or earthquake etc via their achievments.How helpless was mans 'power' in 2004 when one tsunami wiped out 300000 people?

  • imtiaz.osman.5 - 2013-01-05 14:14

    Guilty until proven innocent

  • raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-05 17:48

    What's with this ? The U.S. is funding/supplying the Taliban/Al Qaeda in the Syrian conflict but is against funding/supplying Taliban/ Al Qaeda in any other conflict ?? Little bit of a double standard isn’t it?

  • pdevillet.patrik - 2013-01-06 14:25

    that people waste our scarce resources to please some imaginary sky daddy is beyond my understanding .There is no prove that any god exist ,it will only get better the day humanity come to grip with this fact.

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