A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, four family members and another man were charged by federal prosecutors with providing “material support” to the Pakistani Taliban.Fortunately, no mosques were involved (wink, wink).
Three of those indicted, including two South Florida imams, have been arrested, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice. Three others are at large in Pakistan. All are charged with conspiring to support a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap persons overseas as well as supporting the Pakistani Taliban.
Named in the indictment are Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, of Miami; two of his sons, Irfan Khan, 37, of Miami, and Izhar Khan, 24, of North Lauderdale, Florida, also U.S. citizens; and Ali Rehman, Alam Zeb, and Amina Khan. All are originally from Pakistan, the Justice Department said.
Hafiz and Izhar Khan were arrested today in South Florida while Irfan Khan was picked up in Los Angeles, according to the statement. Amina Khan is Hafiz Khan’s daughter and Zeb is her son, the government said.
Hafiz and Izhar Khan are imams at mosques in southern Florida, the Justice Department said. They are scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami on May 16. Irfan Khan is expected to make his initial court appearance in Los Angeles.
“Despite being an imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace,” U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer said in the statement. “Instead, as today’s charges show, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming.”
Hafiz Khan is the imam at Miami Mosque, also known as Flagler Mosque, and Izhar Khan is the imam at Jamaat Al-Mumineen Mosque in nearby Margate. Officials say the mosques are not suspected of wrongdoing.