NEW YORK: A Pakistani immigrant pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to running an illegal money transfer business between Pakistan and the United States that was used to fund an attempt to bomb New York’s Times Square.
Mohammad Younis, 44, of suburban Long Island, provided failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad with money in April to pay for his attempted May 1 car bomb attack, but prosecutors did not accuse Younis of knowing how the money would be used.
Shahzad, a Pakistani-born American, pleaded guilty in June to the attempted car bombing and said the payment he received to fund the attack had been organised by associates of the Pakistani Taliban extremist group.
“By engaging in the alleged conduct, Mohammad Younis unwittingly funded a terror plot that, if successful, would have caused mass casualties in New York City,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Younis is charged with conducting an unlicensed money transfer business and conspiracy to conduct an unlicensed money transfer business. He appeared before US Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck in Manhattan federal court and was released on $100,000 bail.
His lawyer, Phil Solages, told reporters Younis “is not a terrorist” and “has no ties to terrorism.” If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each charge.
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