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US prosecutors charge Afghan with funding Taliban terrorism with drug money

[JURIST] The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Tuesday announced charges [press release, PDF] against an Afghan of conspiring to finance terrorist activity. Haji Juma Khan, who was already detained on charges of narco-terrorism, is accused of providing the Taliban [JURIST news archive] with proceeds from his drug operation with knowledge that the money would be used in terrorist activities in Afghanistan [JURIST news archive]. The prosecution alleges that Khan was closely aligned with the Taliban in the course of his drug activities and that his organization sold enough morphine base fill the US heroin market for two years. Khan faces up to a life sentence and a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted.

In May, a jury in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] convicted [JURIST report] Afghan national Khan Mohammed, who was originally held as an enemy combatant, on charges of drug distribution and narco-terrorism. That was one of the first prosecutions of the US anti-narco-terrorism effort [DEA program site], aimed at crippling terrorist organizations by stopping the sale of the drugs said to finance them. In September, Afghan tribal chief Haji Bashir Noorzai was convicted [NYT report] following his April 2008 indictment [text, PDF; JURIST report] for violation of US drug laws.

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