A Long Island man has been charged with running an illegal money transfer business which was later used by the Times Square bomb plot suspect.
Mohammad Younis, 44, is charged only with operating the illegal money business, known as a "hawala," for transfers between Pakistan and the United States. Investigators said he did not know of the bomb plot at the time he was moving the funds.
Prosecutors said Younis did complete at least one transaction for Faisal Shahzad, the terrorist who pleaded guilty to trying to set off a car bomb in Times Square in May. The plot fizzled and Shahzad was caught while trying to flee the country.
"By engaging in the alleged conduct, Mohammad Younis unwittingly funded a terror plot that, if successful, would have caused masscasualties in New York City," said U.S. attorney Preet Bharara.
Younis was released on $100,000 bail. His attorney, Phil Solages, defended Younis as a dedicated father and husband.
"My client is not a terrorist," said Solages after the court hearing. "Mr. Younis has no ties to terrorism . Mr. Younis is a hard-working family man."
The money sent to the U.S. was provided by members of the terrorist group Tehrik-e-Taliban. Shahzad admitted traveling to Pakistan to meet with terror leaders for bomb training.
Younis had denied being involved in any crimes when the FBI searched his home earlier this year. He faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted on the charges.
FBI New York Director Jan Fedarcyk said,"These funds were used, without Younis's knowledge, in furtherance of Shahzad’s Times Square terrorist attack. The FBI and our partners will continue to investigate matters of this type to protect the United States."
It was back in May that the FBI conducted a series of raids on Long Island, in Boston and New Jersey trying to track the money used to finance the bomb plot.