2 NYC men guilty of supporting al-Qaida

June 18, 2012 at 9:33 PM
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NEW YORK, June 18 (UPI) -- Two New York men have pleaded guilty to federal charges they provided al-Qaida associates in Yemen and elsewhere with financial support, officials said Monday.

Wesam el-Hanafi and Sabirhan Hasanoff admitted providing equipment and technical advice during a nearly three-year conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release.

El-Hanafi pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Monday and Hasanoff entered his plea June 4.

"The pleas of these two avowed supporters of al-Qaida is a chilling reminder of the threat of homegrown terrorists and the unwavering vigilance that must be exercised so they can be thwarted -- as they were in this case," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. "It is also a reminder of the commitment that we share with our law enforcement partners to identify, prosecute and punish those who would do harm to the United States and its citizens."

El-Hanafi, 37, a U.S. citizen who was born in Brooklyn and lives there, and Hasanoff, 36, a dual citizen of the United States and Australia, who also lived in Brooklyn, each face as much as 20 years in prison. Hasanoff is to be sentenced July 23 and el-Hanafi Oct. 22.

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