MIAMI (CBS4) – An attorney for a South Florida Muslim cleric accused of supporting the Taliban in Pakistan has asked the judge to release his client from jail until his trial.
Last month federal Magistrate Judge Barry Garber ordered that 76-year-old Hafiz Muhammad Sher Ali Khan and his son, 24-year-old Izhar Khan, be held without bond because both men were a danger to the community and were likely to flee the country.
On Wednesday an attorney for the elder Khan filed papers in court asking that the magistrate reverse his order because there were numerous weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Attorney Khurrum Wahid said FBI recordings of conversations in the Pashto language could have faulty translations. Prosecutors say it’s clear that Kahn meant to support terrorist attacks.
Wahid said the elder Khan is no danger to the community and won’t flee prosecution. Khan is imam at a mosque in Miami, his son is an imam at a mosque in Margate.
Khan, son and four others are accused of wiring at least $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the money sent by this group was used to buy guns and fund a madrassa (religious school) owned by Hafiz Khan which sheltered terrorists and trained children to kill Americans. The indictment did not charge the South Florida mosques themselves with any wrongdoing and the individual defendants are charged based on their provision of material support to terrorism, not on their religious beliefs or teachings.
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