The 77-year-old former leader of Miami's oldest mosque was convicted Monday of providing material support to the Pakistani Taliban and of aiding a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap people abroad.
Hafiz Khan faces up to 15 years in prison for each of the four counts on which he was convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced in May. He sent $50,000 overseas, including money that went to a madrassa where children "learn to kill Americans in Afghanistan," the indictment said.
He had been imam at Miami's Flagler Mosque since 1999. Though supporters decried his 2011 indictment, evidence showed he wanted Pakistan's government replaced by one adhering to strict Islamic law and that he wished that "all opponents of Islam [need] to be destroyed." He also praised the failed 2010 Times Square bombing attempt by Faisal Shahzad.
The Pakistani Taliban is suspected of training Shahzad.
"Today, terrorists have lost another funding source to use against innocent people and U.S. interests," Michael B. Steinbach, the FBI's Special Agent in Charge in Miami, said in a prepared statement from the Justice Department. "We will not allow this country to be used as a base for funding terrorists. Individuals such as Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, who support terror, represent a threat to our safety and provide an example of why the FBI's number one priority is counterterrorism."
Jurors saw Khan's bank records and listened to him discuss his activity with a man who turned out to be an FBI informant, the Miami Herald reports. In one of those recorded conversations, Khan said that children from his madrassa have gone to train to kill Americans in neighboring Afghanistan, the Justice Department statement said.
The indictment also charged Khan's two sons, but both were cleared.