Miami Imam Hafiz Khan Convicted on Four Terrorism Charges
Hafiz Khan, the 77-year-old former cleric at Miami's Flagler Mosque, could be spending the rest of his life in jail. Khan was convicted on four terrorism related charges this morning after a jury agreed that he had been secretly sending funds to help arm the Taliban. Each charges carries a maximum of up to 15 years in prison.
Khan was arrested back in 2011 along with his two sons. The sons were eventually cleared of all charges, which some saw as a signal the prosecution's case could be falling apart. However, Khan did eventually face trial.
During the trial prosecutors played FBI recordings in which Khan expressed support for the Taliban, discussed sending $50,000 to Pakistan, talked approvingly of the deaths of American military personal, and said he hoped that Pakistan's current government would be overthrown in favor of one that favored a more strict version of Muslim law.
Khan argued that the money he sent was meant to help a religious school, the poor, and his extended family in Pakistan. He claimed he had lied about his support for the Taliban because he believed he was talking to a Taliban sympathizer who could provide $1,000,000 to help war victims. That sympathizer was actually an FBI informant.
Though prosecutors claim that Khan made similar statements to others, including friends and family, who weren't offering money. Khan's defense claimed those statements were taking out of context, and that Khan had also made anti-Taliban statements.
After a two-month trial and five days of deliberation, the jury delivered a guilty verdict this morning.
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