Florida Men Charged With Funding Taliban

Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan and his two sons arrested
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 14, 2011 3:35 PM CDT
Ikram Khan (R), one of the sons of imam Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, walks into the Miami Mosque, also known as the Flagler Mosque, for prayer.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A Miami imam and two of his sons were arrested today on charges they provided financial support to the Pakistani Taliban, officials said. Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, was arrested after morning services at the Miami Mosque; sons Izhar, 24, and Irfan Khan, 37, were arrested in Margate, Florida, and Los Angeles, respectively. The men are originally from Pakistan but are US citizens. The indictment also names three others at large in Pakistan: Hafiz Khan's daughter, grandson, and an unrelated man.

The indictment identifies about $50,000 in transactions, and says the funds were used to buy guns, support militants' families, and promote the cause of the Pakistani Taliban. It also alleges that Hafiz Khan owns a madrassa, or religious school, in his native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan that shelters members of the Pakistani Taliban and trains children to become militants. The investigation was reportedly sparked three years ago by suspicious financial activity and was not based on an undercover sting operation. The men are expected to appear in court Monday.

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