Florida Imam Found Guilty of Supporting Taliban
Elderly cleric claimed he was lying about supporting them
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 4, 2013 12:42 PM CST
In this May 16, 2011 artist rendering, Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, right, and one of his sons, 24-year-old Izhar Khan, left, are shown in federal court in Miami.   (AP Photo/Shirley Henderson, File)

(Newser) – Miami Muslim cleric Hafiz Khan was convicted of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists today, charges that could, given his advanced age, land him in prison for the rest of his life. During the trial, prosecutors trotted out hundreds of FBI recordings in which Khan, 77, expressed support for the Taliban, for the killing of US soldiers, and for the violent overthrow of Pakistan's government, and discussed sending around $50,000 to Pakistan, the AP reports.

But Khan's attorney says he was lying about his extremist views in the hopes of getting an extremist to donate $1 million to Khan's Swat Valley madrassa—little suspecting that the extremist was actually an FBI agent. "That is not supporting terrorism," his attorney argued. "That is an old guy running a scam, who got scammed." Prosecutors called that defense "a lie," saying that the million-dollar offer didn't appear on the tapes. Khan now faces up to 15 years in prison for each of the four counts he was convicted on.

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Mar 5, 2013 12:58 AM CST
See, this is exactly the problem. As Muslims battle to build a Mosque in our area, I have always spoken out - and will continue to do so - that in America, freedom of religion is guaranteed by our Constitution. The same law that protects my right to worship God with other believers protects Muslims' right to congregate for the same purpose. I'm always dumbfounded by the people in our community who burn the equipment and destroy every bit of progress the Muslims' make in their building. They don't believe the Mosques are only for religious purposes, but to harbor members who are really here to support the terrorists acts of the Taliban. Then, here comes this guy. People like him really make it difficult for me to continue - as uncomfortable as it makes me feel - to call for the protection of Muslims' right to congregate for the purpose of their religion.
Mar 4, 2013 7:19 PM CST
After finding out the 911 terrorist's planned the attack and lived within 10 miles of me I wouldn't trust a word coming out of his mouth. South Florida is a hotbed for terrorist's to live and thrive.
Mar 4, 2013 3:39 PM CST
It's just like tracking the Mafia.