US: Woman given 5-yr jail term for funding terror outfit
Posted on: 09:15 AM IST Mar 30, 2013
Washington: A Turkish woman was sentenced to five years in jail by a US court on charges of sending money to a terrorist outfit in Pakistan for attacks against American military personnel. 40-year-old Oytun Ayse Mihalik, a lawful permanent resident of the US residing in California, had pleaded guilty in August 2012 to one count of providing material support to terrorists.
When she pleaded guilty, Mihalik specifically admitted that she provided money to an individual in Pakistan with the intention that the money would be used to prepare for and carry out attacks against US military personnel and other persons overseas, the US Justice Department said. Using the alias Cindy Palmer, Mihalik sent a total of $2,050 in three wire transfers to the person in Pakistan over the course of three weeks at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.
"International terrorists require a steady pipeline of money to maintain and support their operations," said US Attorney Andre Birotte. "The defendant in this case knowingly and deliberately made wire transfers to fund terrorist operations overseas, where contributions like these could have a significant and devastating impact on American interests," he said.
Mihalik has been in federal custody since she was arrested on August 27, 2011, as she was preparing to board a flight to her native Turkey with a one-way ticket. As part of this case, Mihalik agreed that the US can take away her immigration status and that she will be removed from the US to Turkey after serving her prison sentence.
After her arrest, she told the FBI that she believed the person in Pakistan was a member of the Taliban and al Qaeda, and she knew he was using the money for Mujahadin operations against American military forces in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.
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