updated 11/23/2005 6:56:53 PM ET 2005-11-23T23:56:53

A Pakistani man was convicted Wednesday of trying to help an al-Qaida operative slip past U.S. immigration officials.

Uzair Paracha, 25, was convicted of providing material support to terrorists and other related charges. He had testified earlier in the week that investigators pressured him into making a false confession.

Paracha had testified that he told investigators “what I thought they wanted to hear.”

The government had accused Paracha of trying to help alleged al-Qaida member Majid Khan sneak into the country using fake travel documents.

The federal jury reached the verdict after five hours of deliberation. Paracha could face up to 75 years in prison at his sentencing on March 4.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karl Metzner had told the jury that Paracha wanted to help Khan and "did so knowing that a terrorist was coming here for one purpose: to kill Americans."

Defense attorney Edward Wilford had said the FBI denied his client food and sleep during many hours of questioning — "the ideal conditions to create a false confession."

Khan is among a number of terrorism suspects seized by the U.S. government and presumed to be in overseas jails.

Father also held on terror claims
Paracha's father, Saifullah Paracha, is also being held as an enemy combatant in the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Saifullah Paracha has not been charged with a crime, but documents indicate he is suspected of laundering money for terrorists and associating with major al-Qaida figures, including top operative Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He has repeatedly denied any knowing involvement in terrorism.

Uzair Paracha grew up in Pakistan but has lived off and on for many years in New York, where his family has several business ventures.

After his imprisonment in 2003, Uzair Paracha told agents that Khan had tried to recruit him to al-Qaida and made clear that he wanted to come to the United States as part of a plot to attack Americans.

Paracha told the agents he had no personal interest in al-Qaida but cooperated because Khan and others related to the terrorist network had promised to invest $200,000 in one of the family's businesses.

Just before the trial began two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein denied Uzair Paracha's request to call as witnesses Khan, Ammar Al-Baluchi and Mohammed, al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, who was in U.S. custody after he was captured in Pakistan.

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