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WASHINGTON: The imam of a Miami mosque was found guilty on Monday of funnelling thousands of dollars to the Pakistani Taliban, the US Justice Department said.
After a two-month trial, Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 77, originally from Pakistan, was convicted of several counts of conspiring to support and providing material support to foreign terrorist groups for murders, maimings and kidnappings.
Khan could face up to 15 years in prison for each of the charges when he is sentenced on May 30.
“Despite being an imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace,” said US attorney for southern Florida Wifredo Ferrer in a Justice Department statement.
The mosque has not been implicated in any wrongdoing.
According to evidence presented during his trial, Khan transferred money from the US to bank accounts in Pakistan belonging to Taliban sympathisers — money that was used to help buy weapons for militants and support the Taliban cause in Pakistan.
He also worked in the US to raise money and spread propaganda for the same cause and helped found a madrassa, or Islamic school, in Pakistan to provide shelter and other support to Taliban militants.
Some of the children who studied in the madrassa, according to a recorded phone conversation, later went “to train to kill Americans in neighbouring Afghanistan,” the prosecution said. AFP