Portland man gets 7 years for giving cash to suicide bomber
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Portland city worker who provided money to a terrorist who carried out a deadly suicide bombing in Pakistan was sentenced Friday to seven years and three months in federal prison.
Reaz Khan, 51, pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory after the fact to the 2009 bombing that killed about 30 people and injured an additional 300 at Pakistan’s intelligence headquarters in Lahore.
Khan arranged for Ali Jaleel to receive $2,450 before Jaleel participated in the attack. He also provided financial help and advice to Jaleel’s wives after the bombing.
Khan did not speak at Friday’s sentencing before U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman.
When he pleaded guilty in February, Khan said he knew Jaleel was possibly traveling to Pakistan to commit violence, but didn’t know of a specific plan.
Mosman accepted the joint sentencing recommendation from prosecutors and defense attorneys, but not until after he peppered Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight with questions about how he arrived at a sentencing request well short of the 15-year maximum.
“At some fundamental level you believe Mr. Khan to be less morally culpable for material support to terrorism than in more direct cases where someone is more aware of what someone is going to do with the money,” Mosman said.
Knight replied: “I would not say he’s less morally culpable; I would say the facts are less aggravated, and the sentence should reflect that.”
Mosman ultimately said he was persuaded by the analysis done by the lawyers, and would accept their recommendation.
He said the sentence presented a challenge because Khan’s specific knowledge of what Jaleel was planning seemed murky, but the end result was horrifically clear.
“The ultimate outcome was so horrific — so horrific that in some ways everyone who touches the chain of events that led to this terrible crime bears very serious responsibility for it,” Mosman said.
Mosman allowed Khan to voluntarily surrender and begin serving the sentence next month.
Khan was born in Pakistan and has lived in the United States since 1988.
He was arrested in March 2013 and placed on unpaid leave from his city job as a wastewater treatment plant operator. The guilty verdict ended his employment.
Prosecutors said Jaleel emailed Khan in 2008 about his plan to travel to Pakistan. Two years earlier, Jaleel had been part of a small group from the Maldives that tried to enter Pakistan for training, but he was detained, returned home and placed under house arrest.
Khan, the indictment states, instructed Jaleel on how to avoid detection and offered financial help. In October 2008, Jaleel wrote that he needed money. Khan arranged to have $2,450 waiting for Jaleel in Karachi, Pakistan.
Jaleel was one of three people who carried out the suicide attack. He took responsibility for the bombing in a video released by al-Qaida.
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