Pakistani man gets more than 4 years in prison in terror case

Story highlights

  • Irfan Ul Haq, 37, and two others are nabbed in 2011 in a federal sting
  • He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to the Pakistani Taliban
  • The U.S. considers the Pakistani Taliban a foreign terrorist organization

A federal court sentenced a Pakistani citizen to more than four years for providing false documentation and attempting to smuggle a person he thought was a Taliban member into the United States.

Irfan Ul Haq, 37, was sentenced Thursday to 50 months in prison.

His sentence is part of an agreement to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Ul Haq and two others -- Qasim Ali, 32, and Zahid Yousaf, 43, -- pleaded guilty in September. Ali and Yousaf were sentenced in December to 40 months and 36 months, respectively.

As part of their plea deals, the three agreed to be deported after their sentences, the statement said.

"Today's sentence successfully brings to a close our prosecution of three criminals who aimed to use their human smuggling network to help a person who they believed to be a terrorist infiltrate our homeland," said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.

"By convicting three Pakistani nationals who were operating out of Ecuador, we have demonstrated our ability to dismantle human smuggling operations throughout the world when they threaten our national security."

The three men were arrested in Miami last year in a federal sting operation.

According to court documents, the three men were living in Quito, Ecuador, when they were contacted by federal informants who claimed they wanted to sneak a member of the Taliban into the United States.

The Pakistani Taliban is designated a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department.

According to the court documents, the three agreed to move the person from Pakistan to the United States.

Ul Haq told the federal informants it was not his concern what the purported member of the Taliban wanted to do in the United States, saying if they want to do " hard labor, sweep floors, wash dishes in a hotel, or blow up. That will be up to them," the documents said.

The three were arrested after accepting payment and procuring a fake Pakistani passport for the fictitious Taliban member, the court documents said.