MANHATTAN (CN) – Federal prosecutors charged two Brooklyn men with giving computer advice and other support to al-Qaida. Wesam “Khaled” El-Hanafi and Sabirhan “Tareq” Hasanoff are charged with conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist organization between 2007 and 2010.
The men face a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say the Brooklyn-born El-Hanafi, 33, traveled to Yemen in 2008 to meet with Al-Qaida members. El-Hanafi allegedly took an oath of allegiance to al-Qaida and bought seven digital watches over the Internet that he had delivered to his Brooklyn home.
El-Hanafi also bought software that allowed him to have secure communications over the Internet, according to the indictment.
Hasanoff, 34, who is a dual American and Australian citizen living in Brooklyn, received $50,000 from an unnamed co-conspirator and told the man that his passport would be more valuable to al-Qaida with fewer stamps, according to the indictment.
On Saturday night, the day after the indictments, New York suffered another terrorism scare. Officials were able to neutralize a bomb-filled car left with its engine running in Times Square.
The Pakistani Taliban has taken credit for the attempted strike, which could have killed hundreds of people if detonated, but investigators say they have no credible evidence that the Taliban was behind the plot.