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US Attorney – Afghan Drug Kingpin Charged WSith Financing Taliban Insurgency

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
April 21, 2009 YUSILL SCRIBNER,
REBEKAH CARMICHAEL,
JANICE OH
LawFuel.com – Legal PR Newswire –
LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, and MICHELE M. LEONHART, the
Acting Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement
Administration (“DEA”), announced today the filing of a
superseding indictment charging HAJI JUMA KHAN, a/k/a “Abdullah,”
a/k/a “Haji Juma Khan Mohammadhasni,” with conspiring to finance
terrorist activity by the Taliban. These new charges are in
addition to a charge already pending against KHAN for violating
the 2006 federal narcoterrorism statute.

According to the superseding Indictment filed in
Manhattan federal court:

Since at least 1999, KHAN led an international opium,
morphine and heroin trafficking organization (the “Khan
Organization”) based principally in the Helmand and Kandahar
provinces of southern Afghanistan. The Khan Organization
arranged to sell morphine base, an opium derivative that can be
processed into heroin, in quantities as large as 40 tons —
enough to supply the entire United States heroin market for more
than two years. The Khan Organization also operated labs in
Afghanistan that produced refined heroin and sold the drug in
quantities of as much as 100 kilograms and more.

KHAN was closely aligned with the Taliban, which, in
2002, was designated by the President of the United States as a
Specially Designated Global Terrorist Group. The Taliban’s
totalitarian government controlled Afghanistan from the mid-1990s
until 2001, when it was removed from power by the United States
and allied military forces. Since the United States’ military
intervention, the Taliban has operated an insurgency aimed at
re-establishing its control of Afghanistan, and forcibly
expelling the United States and its allies, through terrorist
tactics such as suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices,
shootings and kidnappings, targeting American soldiers, Afghan
political leaders, security contractors and civilians. The
Taliban has publicly claimed credit for terrorist attacks,
including a January 14, 2008 attack on civilians and employees at
the Serena Hotel in Kabul, in which an American citizen was
murdered.

The Taliban’s terrorist insurgency has been funded in
part by drug traffickers who provide financing to the Taliban in
exchange for protection for their drug routes, production labs,
and opium poppy fields. The Indictment charges that KHAN has
supported the Taliban’s efforts to forcibly remove the United
States and its allies from Afghanistan by providing financial
support in the form of drug proceeds to the Taliban. The new
charges allege that KHAN violated the separate terrorist
financing statute by providing funds to the Taliban with the
knowledge that they were to be used to support terrorist activity
in Afghanistan.

KHAN is charged with one count of conspiring to traffic
in narcotics with the intention of supporting an organization
engaged in terrorism, one count of trafficking in narcotics with
the intention of supporting an organization engaged in terrorism,
one count of conspiring to finance terrorism, and one count of
financing terrorism.

If convicted, KHAN, 55, faces a maximum sentence of
life and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The case against KHAN is being presided over by United
States District Judge NAOMI R. BUCHWALD. KHAN currently is
detained pending trial.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s
International Narcotics Trafficking Unit. Assistant United
States Attorneys MARSHALL A. CAMP, EUGENE INGOGLIA, and MICHAEL
M. ROSENSAFT are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges and allegations contained in the
superseding Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant
is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
09-103 ###

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