Bangladeshi couple sentenced for ‘Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIS’

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A husband and wife, originally from Bangladesh, were sentenced to prison for conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

According to a Sept. 9, 2021, press release from the office of the  United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Shahidul Gaffar, 40, and Nabila Khan, 35, both residents of Pennsylvania, were sentenced to 18 months and two years in prison, respectively, by United States District Court Judge Joshua D. Wolson who also sentenced both defendants to three years of supervised release.

According to court documents sourced in this press release, in 2015, Gaffar and Khan, a married couple originally from Bangladesh, provided and attempted to provide financial support to two of Khan’s brothers who traveled to Syria to join ISIS fighters.

Gaffar and Khan discussed the brothers’ travel plans in detail with each other, as well as with the brothers and other family members, as early as September 2014.

In January 2015, Khan asked her sister living in Bangladesh to sell some of Khan’s gold and provide the money to their oldest brother, J.K., including for the other brother I.K., both identified only by their initials in the press release, in order to assist him in travelling to Syria.

The press release quotes a series of email exchanges between the husband and wife on the ‘conspiracy’. One of the brothers , I.K. was ultimately killed in the fighting in Syria in March 2019.

“The defendants encouraged and financially supported the efforts of Nabila Khan’s brothers to join the murderous terrorist group ISIS, which is a direct threat to the United States,” Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Jennifer Arbittier Williams, is quoted saying in the press release.

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