CHICAGO — A Chicago man, who personally provided hundreds of dollars to an alleged
terrorist leader with whom he had met in his native Pakistan, pleaded guilty today to attempting to
provide additional funds to the same individual after learning he was working with al Qaeda. The
defendant, Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who became a
naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support
to a foreign terrorist organization, resolving charges that have been pending since he was arrested in
Khan, 58, of the city’s north side, never posed any imminent domestic danger, law
enforcement officials said at the time of his arrest. He remains in federal custody while awaiting
sentencing, which U.S. District Judge James Zagel scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 30.
Khan faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. 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 guilty plea was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the
Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Khan, who was born and resided in the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan before immigrating
to the United States in the late 1970s, admitted that he met with Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of the
Kashmir independence movement, 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 the Kashmir region. 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 $200 to $250),
which he intended Kashmiri to use to support attacks against India.
On Nov. 23, 2009, Khan sent approximately 77,917 rupees (approximately $930) from
Chicago to an individual in Pakistan, via Western Union, and then directed the individual by phone
to give Kashmiri approximately 25,000 rupees (approximately $300). Although Khan intended the
funds to be used by Kashmiri to support attacks against India, he was also aware that Kashmiri was
working with al Qaeda.
In February and March 2010, Khan participated in several meetings with an undercover law
enforcement agent who posed as someone interested in sending money to Kashmiri to purchase
weapons and ammunition, but only if Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, as well as sending
individuals into Pakistan to receive military-style training so they could conduct attacks against U.S.
forces and interests. On March 17, 2010, the undercover agent provided Khan with $1,000, which
Khan agreed to provide to Kashmiri. Khan then gave the funds to his son, who was traveling from
the United States to the United Kingdom, intending to later retrieve the money from his son in the
U.K. and subsequently provide it to Kashmiri in Pakistan.
On March 23, 2010, Khan’s son arrived at an airport in the U.K. and a search by U.K. law
enforcement officials yielded seven of the 10 $100 bills that the undercover agent had provided to
Khan. After learning of his son’s detention, Khan attempted to end his involvement in the scheme
to provide funds to Kashmiri by requesting an urgent meeting with another individual who was also
present at Khan’s earlier meetings with the undercover agent. During their meeting, Khan demanded
to return the undercover agent’s funds by providing $800 to this other individual.
The investigation was conducted by the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, with
particular assistance from the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police, and the
Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Veatch and
Heather McShain and DOJ trial attorney Joseph Kaster, of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice
Department’s National Security Division.
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