Judge sets date for hearing on Florida man in Taliban funding case

16:43, May 17, 2011      

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LOS ANGELES, May 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul L. Abrams on Monday set a date for a hearing in Los Angeles on a Florida man suspected of funding Taliban in Pakistan.

Abrams said the hearing scheduled for Thursday will determine if Irfan Khan can be released on bond to travel to Miami to face charges contained in a four-count indictment, or whether he must remain in federal custody.

In his initial federal court appearance this afternoon, Khan waived his right to the identity hearing in Los Angeles.

He also waived his right to have a stamped copy of the charges presented to him.

Khan, 37, was arrested at a Los Angeles hotel on Saturday, according to the FBI.

Khan is among six people accused of working to funnel at least 50,000 dollars to the Taliban in Pakistan, which violently opposes Pakistan's government and the United States, prosecutors said.

His father and brother -- Hafiz Khan, the 76-year-old imam of a Miami mosque, and 24-year-old Izhar Khan -- were arrested Saturday in South Florida.

Three others, including two Khan family members, are in Pakistan and have not yet been arrested, officials said.

The indictment filed in Miami federal court charges them with conspiring to provide "material" support to terrorists, and with providing that support.

The money was allegedly designated to fund a "jihad" against the Pakistani government and to fight the United States, FBI officials said.

The Justice Department issued a statement saying that "despite being an imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was no man of peace ... He acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming."

Hafiz Khan and his family were accused of plotting to pay for attacks against the Pakistani government, according to wiretaps revealed by court documents filed in Miami.

The Justice Department also alleged that Hafiz Khan built a school in the Taliban-dominated Swat Valley of Pakistan to provide shelter for Taliban fighters.

Source: Xinhua
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