Prosecutors say indicted Fla. cleric was dedicated financier of violent Pakistani Taliban

MIAMI — Despite a frail and pious appearance, a South Florida Muslim cleric was a dedicated financier of the violent Pakistani Taliban who disliked the “wretched” U.S. and sought the overthrow of Pakistan’s government, a federal prosecutor said in court Monday.

Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, directed how thousands of dollars were to be distributed to militant fighters “down to the dollar” and maintained at least three bank accounts in Pakistan to accept the funds, said Assistant U.S. Attorney John Shipley. More than $200,000 has been deposited in those accounts since 2005, he added, although not all the money is linked to terrorism.

Shipley laid out more details of the case against Khan, his sons Izhar Khan, 24, and 37-year-old Irfan Khan, and three other suspects at a bail hearing. U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Garber ordered Hafiz Khan and Izhar Khan held without bail, agreeing with prosecutors that both present a danger to the community and are at risk of fleeing the country.

Attorneys for Hafiz and Izhar Khan argued that both deserved release on bail, contending that conversations recorded by the FBI could amount to little more than political ranting and that they sent the money to relatives in Pakistan as millions of other immigrants do every day.

Lawmakers: Pakistan taliban must be blacklisted

By MATTHEW LEE

Four senators are seeking to force the Obama administration to blacklist the Pakistani Taliban, a day after the failed Times Square bomber pleaded guilty and admitted getting training from the group. The senators, all from New York and New Jersey, said Tuesday they would introduce a bill requiring the State Department to designate the Pakistani Taliban a “foreign terrorist organization.”

The International Dimension

“On May 1st, New York’s Times Square was the target of a failed terrorist attack. In the extensive coverage of the incident, you will find the timeline of the incident leading to the arrest of the suspect right before he scarped the country. The coverage will also include the news following the arrest, the charges against the suspect and the debate around the suspect’s Miranda rights. It will review some of  the immediate consequences of the incident including debates about the effectiveness of the no-fly list, the heightened security measures in NYC and potential effects of the incident on US foreign policy. International dimensions of the incident in linkage to Pakistani Taliban as well as the coverage by Pakistani sources have also been included. Finally, a collection of links related to the suspect’s background is available.”

CNN: Links to Pakistani Taliban?
Associated Press via My Fox and USA Today: Pakistani Taliban Claim Involvement
ABC: Pakistan probes Alleged Connections to the NYC Terrorist Attempt
LA Times: Suspect’s Ties With Pakistani Taliban
The Washington Post: Investigating A Karachi Mosque
The Washington Post: Gates: Pakistan Committed to Fighting Extremism

“Saifullah” allegedly recruited Americans for jihad training in Pakistan

As Pakistani law enforcement officials began questioning the group from a multiethnic, working-class enclave in Virginia, investigators sought more information about a suspected Pakistani militant they knew only as Saifullah.

Investigators believe that Saifullah recruited the Americans, some of whom were college students, through an exchange of emails in late summer and the fall. Saifullah then tried to arrange for them to head to Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border, sanctuaries for the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida.

Note: this summary was taken directly from the article (linked to above) in the Los Angeles Times.