Florida Imams Accused Of Aiding Pakistani Taliban
A South Florida imam and two of his sons have been charged with providing roughly $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban, which the State Department has designated as a terrorist organization. Three others have been charged in Pakistan.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Miami said Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan and sons Irfan Khan and Izhar Khan were arrested Saturday morning. A four-count indictment accuses the men of sending money to the Pakistani Taliban to buy guns.
Hafiz Khan is the imam at Miami Mosque, also known as Flagler Mosque, and Izhar Khan is the imam at Jamaat Al-Mumineen Mosque in nearby Margate. Officials said the mosques are not suspected of wrongdoing.
Authorities said Hafiz Khan also owned a religious school that trained militants.
The FBI discovered the money transfers after local banks filed suspicious activity reports. They then used wiretaps to record conversations allegedly linking the defendants to the money transfers.
Hafiz Khan's daughter, grandson and a third man in Pakistan were also charged in the case.
The three men arrested in the U.S. are expected to appear in federal court on Monday.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.