Thursday, June 10, 2010

Terrorism: Syed Hashmi jailed for 15 years for conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda

Syed Hashmi, aka. “Fahad,” was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today. On April 27, 2010, Hashmi pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to al Qaeda. Hashmi's 15-year sentence, imposed today in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska, is the maximum penalty allowed by law.

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

According to the superseding indictment and statements made during the guilty plea proceeding:

In 2004, Hashmi provided material support or resources to al Qaeda by helping to provide equipment to others who then transported the equipment to a senior al Qaeda military commander in South Waziristan, Pakistan. Hashmi provided the equipment with knowledge that it would be used by al Qaeda militants who were fighting against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Hashmi also provided money to a co-conspirator who planned to deliver some of the equipment by hand to the al Qaeda military commander in Pakistan.

U.S. Attorney Bharara praised the investigative work of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which principally consists of special agents and detectives of the FBI and the New York City Police Department. He thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division and Office of International Affairs. Mr. 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.

“Terrorist organizations like al Qaeda depend upon a wide array of individuals across the world to accomplish their violent objectives. This support network includes individuals like Syed Hashmi who embrace al Qaeda's violent ideology and stand ready to translate ideology into action,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara. “Today, Hashmi was held accountable for his conduct, and his sentence makes clear that individuals who provide material support to al Qaeda will be brought to justice.”

This case is being handled by the 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