Muslim almsgiver gets 25 years jail in US

Muslim almsgiver gets 25 years jail in US
Sat Aug 24, 2013 14:24:44

A US court has given a verdict of 25 years in prison for a 78-year-old Muslim almsgiver after he was allegedly convicted of terrorism support-related charges based on evidence recorded during his phone conversations.

Hafiz Muhammad Sher Ali Khan, a US citizen born in Pakistan, was convicted in March on charges of supporting terrorism by sending money overseas to allegedly fund the Pakistani Taliban.

Prosecutors allege that money sent by Khan to Pakistan between 2008 and 2010 was funneled to the Taliban. Evidence against Khan included his wiretapped phone calls.

Nevertheless, Khan, who was the imam of a Miami mosque prior to his arrest in 2011, has said the money he sent overseas was intended to support relatives, the poor, war victims, and a school he had founded in his native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan.

“I did not send one dollar to the terrorists or the fighting Taliban,” he said. “I am absolutely against the terrorists and the violence.”

Evidence against Khan included an FBI recording of his phone calls in which he was heard wishing for the death of US occupying forces in Afghanistan.

Khan’s wife, Fatima, appealed to US District Judge Robert Scola, to allow him to come home, saying the FBI recordings did not mean Khan was a supporter of violence and terrorism.

“He gets angry a lot. He is not speaking from his heart,” she said.

Two of Khan’s sons were also initially charged, however, the charges were dismissed.