MANHATTAN (CN) – Two U.S. citizens from Brooklyn face long prison terms after pleading guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Wesam El-Hanafi, 37, pleaded guilty Monday to “providing material support, including financial support, equipment, and technical advice, to al Qaeda associates in Yemen and elsewhere, and to conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda,” federal prosecutors said.
Sabirhan Hasanoff, 36, a dual citizen of the United States and Australia, pleaded guilty to the same charges on June 4, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“In November 2007, Hasanoff received approximately $50,000 from a co-conspirator (‘CC-1’), with the understanding that at least a portion of the money would be used to support the terrorist organization,” prosecutors said in the statement. “In February 2008, El-Hanafi traveled to Yemen, where he met with two members of al Qaeda. While in Yemen, El-Hanafi swore an oath of allegiance to al Qaeda, received instructions from al Qaeda on operational security measures, and received assignments to perform for al Qaeda. Also while in Yemen, El-Hanafi instructed the members of al Qaeda on how to communicate covertly over the Internet in a manner that would avoid law enforcement detection.”
Both men face up to 20 years in federal prison.
Hasanoff will be sentenced on July 23, El-Hanafi on Oct. 22.