Florida Imam Convicted for Terrorist Support

artist rendering of Hafiz Khan and his son, Izhar Kahn in federal court in Miami / AP

artist rendering of Hafiz Khan and his son, Izhar Kahn in federal court in Miami / AP


An Islamic leader in Florida was convicted Monday for funneling money to Pakistani extremists who carried out deadly attacks against American and Pakistani forces, according to the Associated Press.

The jury returned its verdict on its fifth day of deliberations after the two-month trial of Hafiz Khan, the 77-year-old imam at a downtown Miami mosque. Khan was found guilty of two conspiracy counts and two counts of providing material support to terrorists.

Each charge carries a potential 15-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors built their case largely around hundreds of FBI recordings of conversations in which Khan expressed support for Taliban attacks and discussed sending about $50,000 to Pakistan. There were also recordings in which Khan appeared to back the overthrow of Pakistan’s government in favor of strict Islamic law, praised the killing of American military personnel and lauded the failed 2010 attempt to detonate a bomb in New York’s Times Square.

During the trial Khan claimed that the money he sent overseas was mainly for his school, a madrassa in the Swat Valley. Any mention he made about supporting terrorism was to claim a 1$ million reward, although prosecutor’s say that there are no recordings of him discussing a reward.

The Pakistani Taliban, the group receiving Khan’s money, is responsible for a 2009 attack in Afghanistan that killed seven U.S. citizens and has ties to Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber.