Haji Juma Khan, otherwise known as Haji Juma Khan Mohammadhasni, has been arrested on charges of trafficking narcotics with the intent of financing a Taliban terrorist insurgency.
According to documents recently released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, for at least nine years Khan has been internationally trafficking opium, heroin and morphine from headquarters based in Kandahar and Helmand, Afghanistan.‚ The trafficking ring is known as the “Khan Organization.”
The report states the Khan Organization planned on selling morphine base, which can be used to create heroin, in amounts as large as 40 tons to worldwide drug markets. Forty tons of morphine base would be able to satisfy the heroin needs of the U.S. for more than two years.
The organization also supposedly operated its own labs, producing refined heroin and selling it in quantities of 220 pounds or more.
According to DEA reports, Khan has been closely linked with the Taliban. The group draws much of its funding from drug organizations like Khan’s. In return for this funding, the Taliban provides protection over drug routes, labs and poppy fields.
Khan has supported the Taliban’s efforts to forcibly remove the U.S. and its allies from Afghanistan by backing their policy and funding their organization.‚ The terrorist group has repeatedly attacked U.S. forces and civilians in Afghanistan.
In January, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing of a hotel in which an American was killed.
“His arrest disrupts a significant line of credit to the Taliban and will shake the foundation of his drug network that has moved massive quantities of heroin to worldwide drug markets,” said Michele M. Leonhart, acting DEA administrator.
If convicted, the 54-year-old faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life.‚ A conference will be held Tuesday before a judge.
Khan is one of the first to be prosecuted under the federal narco-terrorism statute drafted in 2006.