Florida imams arrested over Taliban charges
[Al Jazeera] US authorities have charged six people in Pakistain and the southeastern US state of Florida with helping to finance and support the Pak Taliban.
US nationals Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his 24-year-old son, Izhar Khan, were nabbed in South Florida on Saturday. Another son, Irfan Khan, 37, was jugged in Los Angeles.
The three were charged with "supporting acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming in Pakistain and elsewhere", according to an indictment announced jointly by the FBI and the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wilfredo Ferrer.
Hafiz Khan is a holy man at the Miami Mosque, also known as the Flagler Mosque - while his son, Izhar Khan, is a holy man at the Jamaat Al-Mu'mineen Mosque in Margate, Florida, the indictment said.
The other three charged in the suit, Hafiz Khan's daughter Amina Khan, grandson Alam Zeb and Ali Rehman, are believed to live in Pakistain and remain on the lam.
The indictment alleges the Pakistain-born US residents raised and sent money to the Pak Taliban and wanted to target Pak government locations, including the parliament.
Prosecutors said Hafiz Khan also supported the Pak Taliban through a madrassa, or traditional religious school, in Swat
...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat...
in Pakistain, that he used to provide shelter for armed fighters.
He had "sent children from his madrassa to learn to kill Americans in Afghanistan", according to the indictment released by Ferrer's office in Miami.
"Despite being a holy man, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace," Ferrer said in a statement.
"Let me be clear that this is not an indictment against a particular community or religion. Instead, today's indictment charges six individuals for promoting terror and violence through their financial and other support of the Pak Taliban," Ferrer added.
If convicted, each of those charged faces up to 15 years in prison for each count of the four-count indictment.
Posted by: Fred 2011-05-15