by Barry Scott Sussman
2013-01-11 04:44:57

The federal court in Miami, Florida opened 2013 with another highly questionable “terror” trial, complete with the usual elements typically found in these choreographed productions. Defendants guilty of having Muslim-sounding names, born abroad with relatives or even property in their native (preferably Muslim) land have proven to be popular fodder for federal prosecutors seeking headline-grabbing, career-advancing prosecutions. With increasingly amorphous and vague federal criminal statutes at their disposal, and the federal rules of evidence strongly favoring the prosecution, conviction in these mostly meaningless charades is almost all but assured.

Hafiz Khan, 76, a prominent South Florida imam at the Flagler Mosque in Miami, his son Izhar Khan, 24, also an imam and another son, Irfan Khan, 37, were initially arrested in May of 2011. They were charged in a broad, sweeping federal indictment of “providing support to the Pakistani Taliban.” The four count indictment alleged that the defendants conspired to provide material support to a conspiracy to kill, injure and kidnap people abroad.

Izhar and Hafiz Khan are facing terrorism charges for sending money to a school run by their family in Pakistan

U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer announced the indictment with great fanfare, saying at the time “Despite being an imam or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace. Instead, as today’s charges show, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming. But for law enforcement intervention, these defendants would have continued to transfer funds to Pakistan to finance the Pakistani Taliban, including its purchase of guns.”

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