North Side Cabbie Pleads Guilty To Trying To Aid Al Qaeda
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CHICAGO (STMW) — A North Side cab driver pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to provide money to support al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Raja Lahrasib Khan pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Khan, 58, provided hundreds of dollars to alleged terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri, whom he met in his native Pakistan, and attempted to provide additional funds after learning he was working with al Qaeda, the release said.
He first met with Kashmiri in the mid-2000s and then again in 2008, the release said. By the second meeting, Khan knew or had reason to believe Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda and leading attacks against the Indian government.
During the second meeting, Kashmiri told Khan that Osama bin Laden was alive, healthy and giving orders, the release said. Khan then gave him 20,000 Pakistani rupees (about $200-250) to support attacks against India.
On Nov. 23, 2009, Khan sent 77,917 rupees (about $930) from Chicago to Pakistan via Western Union and told a person over the phone to give Kashmiri 25,000 rupees, the release said.
Khan’s plea agreement calls for an agreed sentence of between five and eight years and also requires him to cooperate with the government through his sentence, the release said. He faced a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Khan immigrated to the United States in the 1970s and became a naturalized citizen in 1998, the release said. He was arrested in 2010 during an undercover FBI operation and officials said he never posed an imminent domestic danger.
U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel will sentence Khan at 2 p.m. on May 30. He will remain in federal custody until sentencing.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)