A father and his two sons in South Florida have been arrested and charged with financially supporting the Pakistani Taliban. Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, the Imam of the Flagler Mosque, was charged with providing "material support" to the terrorist organization by federal prosecutors. His son, Irfan Khan, 37, of Miami, and Izhar Khan, 24, of the Imam at Jamaat Al-Mumineen Mosque in Margate, were also charged. The South Florida mosques themselves are however not under investigation.
The Justice Department claims that Hafiz Khan was recorded calling for an attack on the Pakistani Assembly, and when informed that seven American soldier had been killed in Afghanistan he wished for the death of 50,000 more.
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Khan is charged with funneling money from the US into Pakistan that was meant to buy guns for the Taliban. He is also believed to have founded a madrassa in Pakistan that provided shelter and support for Taliban fighters.
"All six defendants are charged with conspiring to provide, and providing, material support to a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap persons overseas, as well as conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically, the Pakistani Taliban," reads a release from the Justice Department.
The South Florida trio are suspected of providing about $45,000 to the Pakistani Taliban.
"Despite being an Imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace," said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. "Instead, as today's charges show, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming."
The Pakistani Taliban works to overthrow the current government of Pakistan, but has also targeted US interests in the past.
"Let me be clear that this is not an indictment against a particular community or religion," said Ferrer. "Instead, today's indictment charges six individuals for promoting terror and violence through their financial and other support of the Pakistani Taliban. Radical extremists know no boundaries; they come in all shapes and sizes and are not limited by religion, age or geography."