Broker for would-be Times Square bomber sentenced

December 1, 2011 - 6:17 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A man unwittingly swept up in a failed terror plot to bomb Times Square last year was sentenced on Thursday to three years' probation.

Mohammad Younis had pleaded guilty to charges he arranged an illegal transfer of $7,000 to Faisal Shazad — money Shazad claimed that the Pakistani Taliban provided to fund his one-man strike against New York City.

Younis and his brother in Pakistan were part of underground money transfer system known as hawala, authorities said. When the Times Square attack was in the planning stages, Younis' brother sent him the cash that he delivered to Shazad at a Long Island railroad station.

Prosecutors in federal court in Manhattan acknowledged that Younis never knew about Shazad's plot. But they argued that a potential sentence of up to six months would be appropriate to deter money transmissions that could fund terrorism.

Attorneys for the Pakistan-born Younis asked for leniency, describing him as a working-class immigrant who posed no danger.

"I'm really sorry," Younis told the judge before he was sentenced. "It will not happen ever, ever again."

Shazad is serving a life sentence after admitting he built a car bomb he left in Times Square to avenge U.S. military intervention in Muslim countries. The bomb malfunctioned but still spread fear throughout the city.