Money Man Linked to Times Square Bomber Pleads Guilty

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Thursday, Aug 18, 2011  |  Updated 5:06 PM EDT
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Money Man Linked to Times Square Bomber Pleads Guilty

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The man who unknowingly helped transfer cash to the Times Square car bomb terrorist pleaded guilty Thursday to running an illegal money transfer business.

Mohammed Younis admitted he passed on cash, without knowing, to terrorist Faisal Shahzad, who then used that cash to fund the failed terror operation.

“Mohammed Younis engaged in illegal activity that, although unbeknownst to him, facilitated the funding of a potentially lethal attack on New York City,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Younis ran what is known as a "Hawala," which is an informal credit system where cash paid by one customer overseas can be credited and used to pay a different person overseas.

Shahzad traveled from Connecticut to Long Island to meet Younis on Long Island to receive the cash that had been credited earlier in Pakistan.

Younis took a fee for helping arrange such money transfers, but it is a federal crime to conduct that type of business without a license.

Shahzad built a car bomb and tried to explode it in Times Square back on May 1, 2010.  He was later arrested at John F. Kennedy airport as he boarded a plane in an attempt to flee.

Younis, 45, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He will be sentenced in November.  Three Hawala operators in Massachusetts and Maine were also investigated in connection with the illegal flow of cash to Shahzad.
 

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