NEW YORK (PIX11)—Mohammad Younis, the man that helped fund attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, walked into the probation office Thursday -- instead of having to go into federal lockup.
The reason why has less to do with his financing of Faisal Shahzad than it has to do with Younis actually helping to catch the bomber.
"Mr. Younis's cooperation played an integral role in the conviction of Faizal Shahzad," said his attorney, Phil Solages.
Younis's attorneys explain that he'd engaged in a time-worn Pakistani practice called hawala, where a person lends money to someone else through a middleman. In Younis's case, he was the middleman who got money funneled from his brother in Pakistan to Faisal Shahzad. Younis had no idea what Shahzad had planned to do with the money.
Shahzad bought fireworks and what he thought was flammable fertilizer, then linked them with gasoline and other components to make a time-bomb that he planted in his SUV, which he then parked in Times Square.
When Mr. Younis recognized that he had unwittingly played a role in what was nearly a horrendous act of terrorism, he contacted law enforcement.
"He in fact went to the FBI offices in Melville on at least 3 separate occasions," Solages said.
He was also the lead source for helping the government crack down on the fairly widespread money-lending practice of hawala. It all led the judge to not sentence Younis to prison, and to instead give him three years' probation and a two-thousand dollar fine.