Three Pakistanis Plead Guilty to Planning to Smuggle a Terrorist

Three Pakistani men have pleaded guilty to charges they were planning to smuggle a Pakistani terrorist into the United States.The U.S. Justice Department said Monday the men will face up to 15 years in jail and a $250,000 for the crime of “conspiracy to provide material support” to a terrorist group. The men will also be deported to Pakistan when their jail time is up.

Court documents say Irfan Ul Haq, Qasim Ali, and Zahid Yousaf ran a human smuggling network in Quito, Equador and were willing to use their network to smuggle into the U.S. a man they believed to be a member of the Tehrik-e Taliban, or the Pakistani Taliban, which is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S.The three men accepted payment for the job and procured a false passport for the person to be smuggled.

But unbeknownst to the three defendants, they were caught in a sting operation. The alleged terrorist was a fictitious person invented by law enforcement to demonstrate that the men were willing to smuggle terrorists.Ul Haq, Ali, and Yousaf were arrested in March of this year.Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the case shows the danger of human smuggling networks to help terrorists move from country to country. – Voanews