Ex-Taliban big cops plea in New York

A former Taliban official now living on Long Island pleaded guilty in US District Court in Manhattan June 16 to tax fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Noorullah Zadran, 53, of Huntington Station, faces up to 8 months in prison after pleading guilty to filing a false 2000 tax return, failing to include in the statement the $1,541 in income he received from the Taliban. Zadran also admitted that he falsely claimed on a bank loan application that his wife was employed, in order to get a lower interest rate.

Zadran, described by Newsday as “a tall, elegantly dressed man with gold wire-rimmed glasses,” was “First Secretary to the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan” from 1998 to 2001, when he frequently appeared on TV news programs as the spokesman for the Taliban regime.

A naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, Zadran reportedly became a FBI informant after he was arrested and charged in 1995 with selling the pelt of an endangered snow leopard. According to a Los Angeles Times report, Zadran was allowed to plead guilty in 1996 to a federal charge of pelt smuggling and avoided prison in exchange for providing information against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. But this apparently failed to protect him from the IRS.

“This case developed from our participation in the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said IRS spokesman Joe Foy. “We serve to combat terrorism in part by analyzing financial transactions of the leadership and members of extremist groups who have committed tax, money laundering or currency violations.”

Asked if Zadran had been an FBI informant, his lawyer, Jared Scharf, said after court, “I don’t know.” He said his client sells real estate on Long Island and added, “This is a nothing case. I’ve had dozens of cases and I don’t recall any other cases involving tax losses in this amount.” Prosecutors in the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney David Kelley refused to comment. (Newsday, June 17)

We find this especially hilarious in light of Islam’s strictures against usury, although it is possible Zadran thought he was escaping usury by lying to the bank and the feds…

See ou last post on Taliban bigwigs in trouble with the feds, and our last post on Afghanistan.