Tags: US | Chicago | Terrorism | Charges

Chicago Taxi Driver Accused of Supporting Al-Qaida

Friday, 26 Mar 2010 04:53 PM


A Chicago cab driver was charged Friday with attempting to provide funds for explosives to al-Qaida and discussing a possible bomb attack on a stadium in the United States this summer, according to a federal complaint.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, 56, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin, was charged in the complaint filed by the FBI with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Khan spoke with another man identified in the complaint only as Individual B on March 11 and appeared to be talking about an attack on an unspecified stadium within the United States, according to the complaint.

Khan allegedly said bags containing remote controlled bombs could be placed within the stadium and then, "boom, boom, boom, boom," prosecutors said.

It was not immediately known if Khan had an attorney. He was scheduled to appear in federal court in Chicago later Friday.

In a statement, prosecutors said that Khan claimed while speaking with an undercover agent to be acquainted with Ilyas Kashmiri, a terrorist leader believed to be based in the tribal areas of western Pakistan who is currently charged in a federal indictment with planning a terrorist attack in Denmark.

Prosecutors said the investigation that led to Khan's arrest was unrelated to a separate investigation that produced charges against an American citizen, David Coleman Headley, and a Canadian businessman living in Chicago, Tahawwur Rana, in the November 2008 terrorist attacks that left 166 people dead in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Kashmiri is charged in that indictment along with Headley and Rana in connection with a planned attack on the Danish newspaper that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 that led to protests in much of the Muslim world.

Headley pleaded guilty last week to the charges. Rana has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists in Denmark and India.

Prosecutors have said that Kashmiri maintains close ties with at least one al-Qaida leader.

According to the complaint, Khan claimed to have known Kashmiri for 15 years and said he came to believe at some point that Kashmiri was receiving orders from Osama bin Laden.

The complaint said that Khan sent $950 from a currency exchange in Chicago to "Lala," a name meaning older brother and which he used in speaking of Kashmiri. It said the money was sent after Kashmiri indicated to Khan that he needed cash to buy explosives.

On March 17, Khan accepted $1,000 from the undercover agent and assured him that the money would be used to purchase weapons and possibly other supplies, prosecutors said.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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