No Bond For Imams Accused Of Helping Taliban
Updated On: May 23 2011 01:26:16 PM EDT
A judge refused to grant bail Monday morning to a father and son accused of sending money to the Taliban in Pakistan.
A federal indictment accused Hafiz Muhammad Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his sons, Izhar Khan, 24, and Irfan Khan, 37, of funneling at least $50,000 to aid the Pakistani Taliban and financing a school in Pakistan that teaches children to become terrorists.
Hafiz Khan is the imam at the Miami Mosque, also known as the Flagler Mosque; Izhar Khan is an imam at Jamaat Al-Mu?mineen Mosque in Margate.
Another of Hafiz Khan's sons, Irfan Khan, 37, was arrested in Los Angeles. Three other suspects in Pakistan also face the accusations.
The courtroom was packed with supporters of Hafiz and Izhar Khan during Monday's detention hearing, which lasted about an hour and a half. Some of the supporters offered their homes as collateral for bail.
The judge sided with prosecutors, saying the two men possibly could flee the country and that they are dangerous to the community.
The government's case against the pair is based mostly on recorded conversations and bank records. According to prosecutors, Hafiz Khan said in some conversations that he wished death to Americans.
Defense attorney Khurrum Wahid said a lot likely was lost in translation.
"I think we made clear today in court that certain terms, such as taliban, also mean 'student' -- madrasa means 'school' -- and that if you're talking about giving money to a school for the kids who study in the school, you will have terms like 'taliban' in the context of that, as well," Wahid said. "I think we also made clear that even the government admits that not all the funds that were sent overseas from Hafiz Khan were for the purpose of supporting the Pakistan Taliban."
Defense attorneys also said they have not yet been allowed to hear the conversations or see the bank records. They likely will be able to do so in about a month.
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