June 10th, 2010 12:07 EST
Pakistani-born American Accused of Providing Support to Al-Qaeda
NEW YORK: A Pakistani-born American man accused of providing support for Al-Qaeda`s efforts to combat US forces in Afghanistan was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison, officials said.
A Justice Department statement said Syed Hashmi, 30, who pleaded guilty on April 27 to a charge of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to the terror network, received the maximum sentence under law from US District Chief Judge Loretta Preska.
US Attorney Preet Bharara said that "Hashmi was held accountable for his conduct, and his sentence makes clear that individuals who provide material will be brought to justice."
"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," the prosecutor said.
Hashmi, also known as "Fahad," was arrested on June 6, 2006, at Heathrow Airport in London, shortly before boarding a flight to Pakistan.
He was later transferred to the United States, becoming the first person extradited from Britain to the United States on terrorism charges.
Hashmi, born in Pakistan and educated in New York, was accused of letting a terrorism suspect stay in his student apartment in London and allowing the man to use his cell phone to call other suspects.
The guest also had a supply of rain gear, such as ponchos and waterproof socks, that was allegedly being delivered to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan.
Human rights groups including Amnesty International and the Center for Constitutional Rights, alleged Hashmi had been subjected to harsh pre-trial detention.