South Florida imam gets 25 years imprisonment for Taliban support

Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM

MIAMI, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A Muslim cleric in South Florida was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday for funneling tens of thousands of dollars to the Pakistani Taliban.

Hafiz Khan, 78, was convicted in March on four terror-related charges and was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola, NBC News reported.

Evidence in the trial showed Khan arranged for money transfers to Pakistan at regular intervals. Prosecutors argued the money helped finance attacks against both the United States and Pakistan. Khan told the judge Friday the money was destined for family, friends and a religious school he founded.

"He is shocked at the fact he will be dying in jail," said Khurrum Wahid, his attorney.

Khan, with a flowing white beard, was called the "Santa Claus imam" by children at his modest Miami mosque, The Miami Herald said.

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