Irfan Khan, Arrested in L.A. For Allegedly Aiding Taliban, in Court Today: Brother Says Feds' Case is a 'Big Lie'
Update: Irfan Khan will face a bail hearing Thursday to determine if he can travel to Miami to face the music there. On Monday in federal court he waived his right to an identity hearing.
AP / YouTube Ikram Khan, a relative of the accused, said the charges are false.
Irfan Khan, one of three people arrested for allegedly sending money to the Pakistani Taliban, is due in federal court in downtown L.A. today for arraignment.
On Sunday his brother Ikram Khan called the allegations against 37-year-old Irfan Khan, father Hafiz Khan, 76, and brother Izhar Khan, 24, "100 percent -- no, 200 percent -- a big lie."
Interviewed by the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Ikram Khan said this:
If he [father Hafiz] sent money [to Pakistan] it was for good purposes. We are peaceful people We do not support the Taliban. We support this country. That is why we are here.
Irfan Khan, a Miami resident, was arrested at a hotel in El Segundo, federal officials said over the weekend. Authorities wouldn't say what he was doing here.
His father and brother were arrested in Florda. Hafiz Khan is the imam of a Miami mosque.
A federal indictment accuses the three along with three others who are still at-large in Pakistan of transferring cash -- $50,000 worth -- via bank accounts and wire services to help Taliban members who were into some bad stuff.
The U.S. Justice Department said in a statement:
... Despite being an imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was no man of peace... He acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming.
The federal case is based on recordings of phone conversations involving the defendants. Ikram Khan said the language must have been "misinterpreted."
Hafiz Khan's teenage grandson, Alam Zeb, was part of the indictment. Speaking to Reuters from Pakistan, the 19-year-old also denied the charges.
He said the cash sent from Florida went toward rebuilding a family home in Pakistan destroyed in fighting between the Taliban and government forces.
"We have nothing to do with the Taliban," he told Reurters. "These are baseless accusations."
First posted at 8:05 a.m. Monday, May 16.