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Prosecutors Use Pakistani Newspaper’s Claims To Keep Imams Locked Up

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Sketches of Izhar Khan and and his father Hafiz Khan in federal court following their arrest on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to Pakistani Taliban. (CBS4)

Sketches of Izhar Khan and and his father Hafiz Khan in federal court following their arrest on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to Pakistani Taliban. (CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami cab driver whose father and brother have been indicted for allegedly supporting the Taliban has denied claims by a Pakistani newspaper that he too is a member of the Taliban and is wanted on terrorism charges there.

On Friday, federal prosecutors used these claims in their arguments to keep Hafiz and Izhar Khan, leaders of two South Florida mosques, behind bars until their trial, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. The prosecutors said, however, they have no evidence that the accusations against Ikram Khan are true.

Hafiz and Izhar Khan were charged last month with aiding the Pakistani Taliban in its mission against U.S. interests. Last month federal Magistrate Judge Barry Garber ordered that both men be held without bond because they were a danger to the community and were likely to flee the country.

The elder Khan, his son, along with 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.

In their filing to counter the Khans latest bid to win bond, prosecutors claimed if they were released they would get in contact with Ikram Khan who lives across the street from the Miami mosque on NW 3rd Street where Hafiz Khan served as an imam, or spiritual leader.

According to Hafiz’s Kah’s attorney, Khurrum Wahid, reports in Pakistan Today concerning Ikram Khan are not reliable.

“The bottom line is, something written in Pakistan Today should not be seen as evidence in U.S. court,” Wahid told the paper. “The prosecutors should provide some credible evidence; they shouldn’t be loosely throwing out innuendo.”

Khan has not been arrested and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami said they couldn’t confirm if any particular person was but they were working with their law enforcement partners on leads relating to the Khan matter.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

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