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Pakistani jailed in US for helping Taliban

world Updated: Oct 23, 2010 14:12 IST

A 33-year-old Pakistani who came to the US on a student visa was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment after being convicted of possessing firearms and planning to help the Taliban.

Adnan Mirza was given 15 years jail without parole for unlawfully possessing firearms and conspiring to provide material support to the extremist Islamist movement, justice department officials said on Friday. He was also fined $9,000.

According to Houston Chronicle newspaper, Mirza, who entered the country to attend a community college in the Houston area in 2005-06, was convicted in May this year.

An undercover probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that Mirza and others had engaged in training and practice sessions with firearms to prepare for a jihad - or holy war - on six occasions beginning in May, 2006 in northern Houston.

The investigation also found that Mirza and others had intended to send money to the Taliban, officials said.

Mirza's attorney, David Adler, said in court that his client did express anger about US actions overseas and about war casualties but also argued that any money collected was for families, hospitals and women and children who were casualties of war, and not for any groups that support the Taliban.