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Former New Yorker Sentenced to 15 Years After Pleading Guilty to Helping Al Qaeda

By Ben Fractenberg | June 9, 2010 9:18pm | Updated on June 9, 2010 10:10pm
An NYPD counterterrorism officer watches commuters entering the subway at Grand Central.
An NYPD counterterrorism officer watches commuters entering the subway at Grand Central.
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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — A Queens man was sentenced to 15 years in jail in a Manhattan court on Wednesday for aiding al Qaeda.

Syed Hashmi was sentenced by Federal court judge Loretta Preska after pleading guilty to providing material support to the terrorist organization, court documents stated. Hashmi knew the equipment he gave al Qaeda would be used against U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, the papers said.

Hasmi, a graduate students at the time, allowed an al Qaeda operative to stay in his London home in 2004 and helped him store supplies for the terrorist organization, according to court documents. He also reportedly gave the man $300 to help him deliver the materials, which included clothes and sleeping bags.

"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," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

One of Hashmi’s defense lawyers, David Ruhnke, told the Daily News on April 27 that he had made the best deal available under the circumstances.

"The government wanted to lock him up for the rest of his life. They will not succeed in that goal," Ruhnke said.

Hasmi was arrested in 2006 at London's Heathrow Airport. He had moved to the country in 2003 from the U.S.