Mr. Boom Boom wired cash to terrorist kingpin

February 14, 2012

This guilty cab driver was close to Ilyas Kashmiri, a well-known terrorist mastermind in India who possibly died last year.  From Voice of America:

A Pakistani-born cab driver in Chicago, Illinois has pleaded guilty to sending money to an ally of al-Qaida.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, admitted in court Monday to one count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group.

Prosecutors say that in November 2009, Khan wired $950 to Pakistan, and asked for at least part of the money to be delivered to Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistan-based terrorist leader with ties to al-Qaida. Khan is alleged to have a longstanding relationship with Kashmiri.

Prosecutors also alleged that in 2010, Khan discussed plans for a terrorist attack on a U.S. stadium. Officials say they recorded Khan saying he would plant multiple bomb-filled bags around the stadium and then, “boom, boom, boom, boom.” Khan was arrested that year.

Under the original charges filed against Khan, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison. The 58-year-old Khan will, however, likely serve far less time as a result of this plea agreement. The agreement recommends that Khan serve between five and eight years in prison. Sentencing is set for May 30.

Meanwhile, Amina Farah Ali, a Minnesota jihadist who was convicted of funding Al Qaeda offshoot al-Shabaab faces up to 195 years in prison for transfers totalling $8,600.

Khan’s attorney said the plea bargain was “too good a deal to pass up.”

Up to 30 years in prison reduced to five years with a potential for early release is “too good to pass up”?  I should say so.  Rewarding cooperation is one thing, but did prosecutors have to give away the whole store?


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