Pak-American guilty of funding J-K terrorists

Chicago: A Pakistani-American, charged with sending money to the now believed to be dead al-Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri, has pleaded guilty before a court here for providing money for terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who became a naturalised US citizen in 1988, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, resolving charges that have been pending since he was arrested in March 2010. Khan, 58, is currently in jail and his sentencing is scheduled for May 30. Born and raised in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Khan faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. He immigrated to the US in 1970s.

His plea agreement calls for an agreed sentence of between five and eight years in prison, and it requires Khan to cooperate with the government in any matter in which he is called upon to assist through the termination of his sentence and any period of supervised release, the Justice Department said.

Khan admitted that he met with Ilyas Kashmiri, who was also involved in separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir, in Pakistan in the early to mid-2000s and again in 2008. At the time of the second meeting, Khan knew or had reason to believe that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, in addition to leading attacks against the Indian government in Kashmir, the Justice Department said.

During their 2008 meeting, Kashmiri told Khan that Osama bin Laden was alive, healthy and giving orders, and Khan gave Kashmiri approximately 20,000 Pakistani rupees (approximately USD 200 to USD 250), which he intended Kashmiri to use to support attacks against India.