Man pleads guilty to aiding al Qaeda


An American man extradited from the UK three years ago has pleaded guilty at a court in New York to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Syed Hashmi was arrested in London in 2006 and became the first person to be extradited under laws brought in by the UK after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Hashmi, 30, was charged with sheltering an al-Qaeda operative in London between 2004 and 2006 and lending him money.

The prosecution has recommended a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Hashmi's guilty plea was part of a last-minute deal with prosecutors in which he admitted to certain charges in exchange for three other counts being dropped, thus avoiding a trial and up to 70 years in jail.

For the last three years, Hashmi has been held in solitary confinement in a high-rise prison in Manhattan.

A Pakistani-born US citizen, he came to the UK on a student visa in 2003 and joined the radical Islamist group, al-Muhajiroun.

He was accused by prosecutors of sheltering an al-Qaeda operative at his flat in London, letting the man use his mobile phone, lending him £200 ($300), and helping him store clothing collected for al-Qaeda members.


There was also evidence against him that was classified that probably accounts for the sentence he will receive. I am not sure why the Brit media is being such wussies about the extradition and confinement of a guy who was clearly guilty of something involving al Qaeda. My preference would have been to send him to Gitmo until the war is over, but this appears to be a lawfare case that has not been as bad as some.


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