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US businessman gets 10 years in jail for funding terror

2010-04-20 13:56:06
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An American businessman has been sentenced to ten years in prison for trying to send money to an Afghan militant training camp.

Abdul Alishtari had admitted charges of financing terrorism at an earlier hearing in a New York court.

The prosecution said Alishtari had helped transfer more than $150,000 (£98,002) believing it would help train militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But the man he was working with was an undercover law enforcement officer.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein sentenced Alishtari to 121 months, plus three years of supervised release. Reports say he faces up to 20 years behind bars.

Night vision goggles

Alishtari was operating a fake loan investment programme when he met the undercover agent.

Prosecutors said he accepted an unspecified amount of money from the agent to transfer $152,500 (£98,002), which he believed was being sent to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support terror training.

Alishtari, also known as Michael Mixon, thought the money would be used to buy night vision goggles, medical supplies and other equipment, the AP news agency reports.

He told the agent he had to be "three steps away" from the money so it could not be traced back to him.

Alishtari's lawyers had initially argued that he was more interested in potential profits from his loan business than in funding militant activity.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing millions of dollars from victims through the fraudulent loan investment programme. - BBC


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