Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Terrorism: U.S. citizen pleads guilty to conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda

Syed Hashmi, aka “Fahad,” pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court to conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, announced Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Hashmi, 30, was arrested on June 6, 2006 at Heathrow Airport in London, shortly before he was to board a flight to Pakistan. He was later extradited to the United States; Hashmi is the first individual to be extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States on terrorism charges.

According to the superseding indictment filed in Manhattan, New York federal court and statements made during the guilty plea proceeding:

From January 2004 through May 2006, Hashmi provided material support or resources to al Qaeda by helping to provide equipment to others who then transported the equipment to al Qaeda associates in South Waziristan, Pakistan. Hashmi provided the equipment with knowledge that it would be used by al Qaeda to fight against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Hashmi also provided money to a co-conspirator who planned to transport the equipment to al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Hashmi pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, namely al Qaeda, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Hashmi is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska on June 7, 2010.

U.S. Attorney Bharara praised the investigative work of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of special agents and detectives of the FBI and the New York City Police Department. Bharara thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division and Office of International Affairs. Bharara also expressed his gratitude to the British authorities and law enforcement community, including New Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service, for their cooperation in the investigation.

U.S. Attorney Bharara said: “This afternoon, Syed Hashmi admitted that he knowingly provided material support to al Qaeda. Having admitted his guilt, he will now face justice for giving aid to terrorists he knew full-well were dedicated to harming Americans.”

This case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brendan R. McGuire and John M. Hillebrecht are in charge of the prosecution.

Source: United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

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