Fare for taxi-driving terrorist sympathizer: 90 months

June 8, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Raja Lahrasib Khan, a 58-year-old American citizen born in Pakistan, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of attempting to provide material support to terrorism. His plea agreement with prosecutors recommended a five- to eight-year sentence.

U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel sentenced Khan to the upward end of the government's recommendation, although it was far less than the maximum he could have received under the law.

The case hinged on secret recordings, including some made in Khan's taxicab.

He wasn't charged with a terrorist attempt but the original complaint claimed that he talked about planting bombs in an unspecified stadium. He described the blasts by saying they would go, "Boom, boom, boom, boom."

An affidavit accompanying the original criminal complaint stated that Khan planned to bags containing remote controlled bombs. According to the affidavit, Khan sent $950 on Nov. 23, 2009, to an individual in Pakistan for delivery to Ilyas Kashmiri -- a terrorist leader Khan claimed to have known for 15 years. The complaint said Khan believed Kashmiri was getting his orders from bin Laden, and that Khan sent the money after Kashmiri indicated he needed cash to buy explosives.

Khan accepted $1,000 from the undercover agent and assured him that the money would be used to purchase weapons and possibly other supplies, the complaint said.

The cabbie initially pleaded not guilty. His attorney Thomas Durkin said at the time: "The real issue is, was this in support of al-Qaida, and I don't think it was. I don't believe it's a crime to know Ilyas Kashmiri," Durkin said. "I don't believe it's a crime to talk to him."

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