A Portland city worker pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to a suicide bombing that killed about 30 people in Pakistan and injured another 300.
Reaz Qadir Khan, 51, admitted before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman on Friday that he arranged for Ali Jaleel to receive $2,450 before Jaleel participated in the May 2009 attack. He also admitted providing financial help and advice to Jaleel’s wives after the bombing, with the knowledge it would help them avoid capture.
The judge set sentencing for June 8. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have jointly requested a sentence of seven years and three months in federal prison. The maximum possible sentence is 15 years.
“Although I did not know for certain what Jaleel’s plans were, I believed it was a possibility that he was traveling to Pakistan for the purpose of committing violence with other persons,” Khan told Mosman, according to court documents released Friday afternoon.
Jaleel was one of three people who carried out the attack at Pakistan’s intelligence headquarters in Lahore. Jaleel, who died in the attack, took responsibility for the bombing in a video released by al-Qaida.
Khan was arrested in March 2013 and placed on unpaid leave from his city job as a wastewater treatment plant operator. The guilty verdict officially ends Khan’s employment with Portland, said Dana Haynes, a spokesman for Mayor Charlie Hales.
Khan conspired with Jaleel starting in December 2005, according to the indictment. The following month, Jaleel sent Khan an email that prosecutors said “referred to past mutual promises he and Khan had made to seek martyrdom in the name of Allah.”
According to the indictment, Jaleel emailed Khan in 2008 about his plan to travel to Pakistan. Two years earlier, Jaleel had been part of a small group from the Maldives that tried to enter Pakistan for training, but he was detained, returned home and placed under house arrest.
Khan, the indictment states, instructed Jaleel on how to avoid detection and offered financial help.
In October 2008, Jaleel wrote that he needed money. Khan arranged to have $2,450 waiting for Jaleel in Karachi, Pakistan, prosecutors said.
Jaleel wrote to Khan the following month, saying he was about to enter training camp and did not need all the money. Khan told Jaleel to keep the money so it could be sent to Jaleel’s two wives in the Maldives, the indictment said.
Shortly after the suicide attack, Khan wired $750 from an Oregon store to one of Jaleel’s wives, Khan admitted in court in Friday.
He also told the judge that he provided life advice to Jaleel’s second wife in December 2008. The woman’s father had opposed her marriage to Jaleel.
“She sought my practical and religious guidance on the issue having concluded, among other things, that her father would never permit her to marry a man who would participate in violent jihad,” he said.
Khan was born in Pakistan and has lived in the United States since 1988.