Hafiz Khan, a Miami imam, was convicted of four charges pertaining to his support of the Pakistani Taliban on Monday.
Khan was arrested, along with two of his sons, in May 2011. They were accused of soliciting funds to be distributed to the Pakistani Taliban, a State Department designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. The charges against one of his sons were thrown out by the judge and charges against the other were withdrawn by the prosecution.
At trial, Khan maintained that he had sent money to a religious school in Pakistan and to help his family. He testified that he only voiced support for the Pakistani Taliban in an effort to raise funds from a real Taliban supporter (who turned out to be an informant) that he intended to be used for other purposes.
The prosecution maintained that “his whole defense is a lie” and that he in fact did support the Pakistani Taliban and intended the funds to reach the terrorist organization.
The Pakistani Taliban, based in the tribal regions along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and allied with Al Qaeda, seeks to overthrow the Pakistani government, expel Western and allied forces from the region, and establish an Islamic state. Although the group focuses its attacks primarily in that region, the group claimed responsibility for Faisal Shahzad’s attempted bombing in Times Square in 2010.
Khan faces a potential sentence of 15 years in prison for each charge.