New York man pleads guilty to aiding al-Qaida

June 18, 2012 21:10

NEW YORK - A New York man pleaded guilty on Monday to US terrorism charges for helping the militant group al-Qaida.

Brooklyn, New York-born Wesam El-Hanafi, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of providing material support to a terrorist group and one count of conspiracy.

Manhattan federal prosecutors, in a plea agreement with the defense, recommended a 20-year prison sentence.

"In July 2009 I participated in a conversation with others in which we discussed seeking out additional contacts within al-Qaida," El-Hanafi told US District Judge Kimba Wood.

El-Hanafi was arrested in April 2010, along with Sabirhan Hasanoff, 36, a dual US and Australian citizen who pleaded guilty on June 4 to similar crimes. The men, who were arrested abroad and brought to the United States to face charges, had been under law enforcement surveillance.

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