A Muslim imam on Tuesday denied that money he sent to Pakistan was earmarked for terrorist activities in the latest trial to focus on the currency pipeline that officials say moves cash to groups planning attacks on U.S. interests.
Hafiz Khan, 77, told jurors in a federal courtroom in Miami that he rejected the Pakistani Taliban and denied charges that he had sent at least $50,000 to the militant group in support of violent attacks. The defense has argued that the money was for humanitarian goals, including funding for a Muslim religious school.
“We are innocent of these accusations,” said Khan, speaking in Pashto through an interpreter.
“We have no connection with them whatsoever. We hate them,” he told jurors, according to the Associated Press report from the courtroom.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, federal prosecutions of people and groups that raise money or provide other support for overseas terrorists have sharply increased. Khan faces four terrorism support charges that each carry up to 15 years in prison.