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US man sentenced in terrorism financing case

US man sentenced in terrorism financing case

A New York businessman was sentenced Monday to more than 10 years in prison for trying to funnel money to a terrorism training camp in Afghanistan through an undercover agent posing as a wealthy Middle Easterner.
Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded guilty in September to charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Alvin Hellerstein sentenced him to 121 months, plus three years of supervised release. He faced up to 20 years behind bars.
Alishtari was operating a phony loan investment program when he met the undercover agent. Prosecutors said he accepted an unspecified amount of money from the agent to transfer $152,500 that Alishtari believed was being sent to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support a terrorist training camp.
Alishtari, also known as Michael Mixon, thought the money would be used to buy night vision goggles, medical supplies and other equipment and advised the agent he had to be "three steps away" from the money so it could not be traced back to him.
His attorneys had initially argued that Alishtari was more interested in potential profits from his loan business than in terrorism activity.
Alishtari, who lives in a New York City suburb, also pleaded guilty to stealing millions of dollars from victims through the fraudulent loan investment program. Judge Hellerstein ordered him to pay restitution to victims in the scheme, but a figure has not been determined.


Updated : 2021-10-20 09:02 GMT+08:00