An elderly Muslim cleric on trial for allegedly funneling tens of thousands of dollars to the Pakistani Taliban terrorist organization vehemently denied Tuesday any connection to Islamic extremists and insisted he does not harbor anti-U.S. views. Today, he will, again, head to court.
Taking the witness stand in his own defense, 77-year-old Hafiz Khan rejected U.S. government charges that he sent at least $50,000 to the Taliban for use in violent attacks against both U.S. and Pakistani government interests overseas.
The prosecution’s case is built largely on FBI wiretaps and recorded in-person conversations in which Khan is heard apparently praising attacks committed by the Pakistani Taliban, including some in which U.S. personnel were killed. The Taliban is also linked to al-Qaida and to attempted attacks in the U.S., such as the failed 2010 bombing in New York’s bustling Times Square.
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