2 from Jihad Watch, RE: Arrest of Imam in Florida
The charges against him show he wasn’t going to kick back and let Allah take care of that. He was working to answer his own prayer to see infidels slain, on however smaller a scale. An update on this story; below is the press release from the Department of Justice: “Six Individuals Charged for Providing Material Support to the Pakistani Taliban,” May 14 (thanks to Weasel Zippers and the Long War Journal
MIAMI: Six individuals located in South Florida and Pakistan have been indicted in the Southern District of Florida on charges of providing financing and other material support to the Pakistani Taliban, a designated foreign terrorist organization. The charges were announced today by Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami Field Office, and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)
The four-count indictment charges Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan (hereafter �Khan�), 76, a U.S. citizen and resident of Miami; his son Irfan Khan, 37, a U.S. citizen and resident of Miami; and one of his other sons, Izhar Khan, 24, a U.S. citizen and resident of North Lauderdale, Fla. Three other individuals residing in Pakistan, Ali Rehman, aka �Faisal Ali Rehman;� Alam Zeb; and Amina Khan, aka �Amina Bibi,� are also charged in the indictment. Amina Khan is the daughter of Khan and her son, Alam Zeb, is Khan’s grandson.
All six defendants are charged with conspiring to provide, and providing, material support to a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap persons overseas, as well as conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically, the Pakistani Taliban. Defendants Khan, Rehman and Zeb are also charged with providing material support to the Pakistani Taliban.
FBI agents arrested Hafiz Khan and his son Izhar Khan today in South Florida. They are scheduled to make their initial appearance in federal court in Miami at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 16, 2011. In addition, Irfan Khan was arrested in Los Angeles and is expected to make his initial appearance there. If convicted, each faces a potential 15 years in prison for each count of the indictment. The remaining defendants are at large in Pakistan
The defendants are originally from Pakistan. Hafiz Khan is the Imam at the Miami Mosque, also known as the Flagler Mosque, in Miami. His son, Izhar Khan, is an Imam at the Jamaat Al-Mu’mineen Mosque in Margate, Fla. The indictment does not charge the mosques themselves with any wrongdoing, and the individual defendants are charged based on their provision of material support to terrorism, not on their religious beliefs or teachings.
Must all “spiritual leaders” be “men of peace?”
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Despite being an Imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace. Instead, as today’s charges show, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming. But for law enforcement intervention, these defendants would have continued to transfer funds to Pakistan to finance the Pakistani Taliban, including its purchase of guns. Dismantling terrorist networks is a top priority for this office and the Department of Justice.
“Today terrorists have lost another funding source to use against innocent people and U.S. interests. We will not allow this country to be used as a base for funding and recruiting terrorists,” said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Office. “I remind everyone that the Muslim and Arab-American members of our community should never be judged by the illegal activities of a few.”
This investigation was initiated by the FBI in conjunction with the JTTF based upon a review of suspicious financial transactions and other evidence; it was not an undercover sting. According to the allegations in the indictment, from around 2008 through in or around November 2010, the defendants provided money, financial services, and other forms of support to the Pakistani Taliban. The Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, Tehrik-I-Taliban, Tehrik-e-Taliban, and Tehreek-e-Taliban, is a Pakistan-based terrorist organization formed in December 2007 by an alliance of radical Islamist militants. On Aug. 12, 2010, the U.S. State Department formally designated the Pakistani Taliban as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Miami “Virtue and Vice”:
According to the indictment, the Pakistani Taliban�s objectives include resistance against the lawful Pakistani government, enforcement of strict Islamic law known as Sharia, and opposition to the U.S. and coalition armed forces fighting in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban has committed numerous acts of violence in Pakistan and elsewhere, including suicide bombings that resulted in the death of civilians and Pakistani police, army, and government personnel, and other acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming. The Pakistani Taliban has also been involved in, or claimed responsibility for, numerous attacks against U.S. interests, including a December 2009 suicide attack on a U.S. military base in Khost, Afghanistan, along the border with Pakistan, which killed seven U.S. citizens; an April 2010 suicide bombing against the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, which killed six Pakistani citizens; and the attempt by Faisal Shahzad to detonate an explosive device in New York City’s Times Square on May 1, 2010. Most recently, on May 13, 2011, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks that killed at least 80 people at a military training facility in northwestern Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban has links to both al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Both Khan and son are U.S. citizens. Has the word “treason” come up?
As set forth in the indictment, the defendants sought to aid the Pakistani Taliban’s fight against the Pakistani government and its perceived allies, including the United States, by supporting acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming in Pakistan and elsewhere, in order to displace the lawful government of Pakistan and to establish strict Islamic law known as Sharia.
The aim of jihad in all its forms is the imposition of Islamic law.
To this end, the defendants, assisted by others in the United States and Pakistan, conspired to provide and provided material support to the Pakistani Taliban by soliciting, collecting and transferring money from the United States to supporters of the Pakistani Taliban, primarily using bank accounts and wire transfer services in the United States and Pakistan. According to the indictment, these funds were intended to purchase guns for the Pakistani Taliban, to sustain militants and their families, and generally to promote the Pakistani Taliban’s cause. In addition, the indictment alleges that defendant Khan supported the Pakistani Taliban through a madrassa, or Islamic school, that he founded and controlled in the Swat region of Pakistan. Khan has allegedly used the madrassa to provide shelter and other support for the Pakistani Taliban and has sent children from his madrassa to learn to kill Americans in Afghanistan.
According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants endorsed the violence perpetrated by the Pakistani Taliban. On one occasion in July 2009, defendants Khan and Irfan Khan participated in a recorded conversation in which Khan called for an attack on the Pakistani Assembly that would resemble the September 2008 suicide bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan. On another occasion in September 2010, Hafiz Khan participated in a conversation in which he stated that he would provide that individual with contact information for Pakistani Taliban militants in Karachi, and upon hearing that mujahideen in Afghanistan had killed seven American soldiers, declared his wish that God kill 50,000 more….
Agents followed new politically correct rules when arresting Florida imam accused of funding Taliban
The feds are trying to win the trust of the Muslim community. It never seems to occur to anyone, in light of all the jihad plots that have been uncovered in the U.S. over the last two years, that the Muslim community should be trying to win the trust of the feds.
[…] Dozens of federal agents appeared at early Saturday morning prayer to arrest Hafiz Muhammad Sher Ali Khan, the frail 76-year-old imam, and two of his sons, one who led the Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen Mosque in Margate, on charges of funneling money to the Pakistani Taliban to buy weapons and support militant training. All three are scheduled to make a first appearance in federal court on Monday.
A day after the raids, members of the mosque as well as South Florida’s Muslim community remained stunned and concerned. Some fear ugly backlash. Nezar Hamze, executive director of the [Hamas-linked] Council on America-Islamic Relations, said two hate calls had been directed at the Miami mosque and one at Margate mosque. For others, he said, the case � built largely on bank records and taped phone calls � rekindled the sense they’re being singled out for secret surveillance.
“The FBI has a very important job to do and we support it,” said Hamze. “However, their job sometimes crosses the line and interferes with the rights of peaceful Muslim people.”
But in at least small ways, the South Florida arrests also signaled a subtle positive shift in dealings between federal law enforcement agencies and the Muslim-American community it has monitored closely since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The raids were conducted under new national rules of engagement intended to show more sensitivity toward religious practices and tamp down the flames of haters after a series of outreach meetings in South Florida this year among federal law enforcers and Muslim leaders.
When U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer and FBI John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Office, announced the arrests they both stressed that other mosque members and the rest of the community should not be branded by the alleged terrorist actions of a handful of its members. Ferrer, in a phone interview Sunday with The Herald, reiterated that message.
“They are as American as apple pie,” he said. “They are just as concerned about terrorist attacks as anyone else. They do not want to live in fear.”
Ferrer said the outreach programs were initiated last year by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to address concerns over increasing tensions and hate crimes � including a pipebomb explosion last year at a Jacksonville mosque � and law enforcement tactics that some Muslim leaders have criticized as heavy-handed, including planting undercover agents in mosques.
Along with the outreach meetings, the U.S. Attorney’s Office earlier this month hosted a training session at Broward College in Davie for 65 federal, state and local agents and officers aimed at �at enhancing law enforcement officers� cultural competence and sensitivity on issues involving the Arab, Muslim and Sikh American communities��
Ferrer said his message to Muslim leaders is that they should not feel isolated. “We want to make it very clear that we are their U.S. attorney, we are their Justice Department.”
Asad Ba-Yunus, a former Miami-Dade assistant state attorney who now serves as legal adviser for the Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organization, said the charges against the two imams and four others came as a shock, but he praised the handling of the arrests.
After the heavily armed agents flooded the grounds of the Flagler Mosque, a small converted house in a modest neighborhood west of Milam Dairy Road and north of Flagler Drive, they waited for morning prayer to finish before arresting Khan outside.
“Instead of barging in with 25 agents and trampling all over the place, one agent took off his shoes and went in,” he said. “They respected the congregation that was there.”
After the arrest, agents informed other Muslim leaders before going public, Ba-Yunus said, so there was some lead time to prepare for media inquiries. Ba-Yunus saw those steps as progress stemming from meetings with federal authorities….
As for allegations against Hafiz Kahn and others, Ba-Yanus and Hamze condemned any support of terrorism but said they wanted to see the evidence before passing judgment. In reading quotes from phone calls in the indictment, Hamze wondered if conversations had been misconstrued and “something had been lost in the translation.” . . .
Of course! It was taken out of context, as well!