Chicago pakistani cabbie accused of aiding al-Qaeda
A Chicago cabdriver who authorities say recently talked of bombing a stadium was arrested downtown today while on the job and charged with trying to send a few hundred dollars overseas to al-Qaeda.
Raja Lahrasib Khan, 56, a Pakistani native who lives in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, sent a money transfer of about $950 to a contact in Pakistan last November and directed that $300 go to the leader of a Sunni extremist group with ties to al-Qaeda, authorities charged.
Then on Tuesday, Khan's son was stopped at O'Hare International Airport before he could board a flight to England.
Authorities said he had $700 in cash on him that had been given to his father by an undercover federal agent. Khan planned to meet up with his son in England and then take the $700 himself to Ilyas Kashmiri, the Pakistani terrorist leader with ties to al-Qaeda, authorities said.
Khan had told the undercover agent the money would be used to buy weapons and possibly other supplies, according to the charges.
Kashmiri was indicted in Chicago earlier this year in a plot to kill a Danish newspaper cartoonist over unflattering drawings of the Prophet Muhammad. Kashmiri remains a fugitive.
in federal court in Chicago, FBI agents intercepted Khan's phone calls for several months and recorded his conversations with one associate in his cab.
It was in one of the talks recorded in the cab on March 11 that Khan discussed bombing an unspecified U.S. stadium in August, authorities alleged. "Boom, boom, boom, boom," he was quoted as saying. Khan said that Kashmiri would teach him how to carry out the attack, authorities said. "I guess there is remote control, you know," he said.
In taped meetings, Khan allegedly told the undercover agent he knew Kashmiri took orders from Osama bin Laden and agreed America needed to be punished.
"If ... every day, you know we are bombing somewhere ... kill 50 people, 100 people, 70 people here, other state, other state ... eventually they get the message."
The bearded Khan stood in court Friday with a dour expression, wearing a black-and-blue windbreaker and white tennis shoes with the laces removed for security reasons. Assistant U.S. Atty. Christopher Veatch told a federal magistrate the government wants Khan detained.
At Zaiqa, a restaurant popular with Muslim cabdrivers, friends of Khan reacted with shock at word of his arrest. "We would just talk about our jobs, our families and how the cab business is doing bad," said Mohammed Salim, 60, a Pakistani immigrant who said he has known Khan for about 20 years.
Abdul Razzaq, who owns the restaurant at 858 N. Orleans St., said Khan came in three or four times a week, sometimes with his wife, to eat and pray in the prayer room.
Cabdrivers said Khan was nicknamed "Kojak," a handle from the days cabbies used CB radios to communicate with one another.
The terror feeling is mixed in their blood irrespective of wherever thay are