April 27th, 2010
11:52 PM ET

U.S. citizen pleads guilty to helping al Qaeda

Syed "Farhad" Hashmi pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced.

Hashmi was arrested in June 2006 at London's Heathrow Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Pakistan. He was accused of conspiring to transport "military gear" to al Qaeda forces fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to a federal indictment issued in 2006.

In 2007, Hashmi became the first American citizen to be extradited from the United Kingdom on terrorism charges.

Several human rights organizations in New York, including Educators for Civil Liberties, Theaters Against War and the Center for Constitutional Rights, have protested the conditions of Hashmi's confinement while he awaited trial over the past two years.

Hasmi, a Queens resident who was borni in Pakistan, faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. jon

    They have no right to protest his conditions, even if they locked him up in the space of a closet and never let him out or see daylight is to good for him. They should just slaughter that pig and be done with it, it's not like he's a person, he's a parisite. Are tax dollars should not provide for him.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. KH

    He's right. OUR tax dollars are better spent on education.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    To some on the left, including some in the present admin, he is considered a hero.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. bird

    Profiling might have caught this guy don't you think? We need to profile???

    April 28, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. PP

    Where were those "Human Right Activists" when Hashmi was providing material support to al qaida? What about the human rights of innocent citizens killed in 9/11?

    April 28, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Retired Deputy

    If members a certain group are commonly known to be violating the law why is wrong to cloely check members of that group. Call it whatever term you wish, it just makes sense and it makes our country safer..

    April 28, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. KD

    Why should we need to jail this type of people? It's a waste of tax dollars. Just take him out to the high sea and feed him to the shark. It's good for the ecosystem. One less terrorist on this earth. We are too soft. We need to set example, therefore, these traitors will deter when thinking to do harm to us.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mansoor S

    Hey Jack 'Dumbass' W: Catholic priests are abusing boys left and right, so that makes all Catholics child molesters? You are the bigoted scum that's an insult to humanity.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. AM

    Some here have made comments like there are members of Christian Al Qaeda or Talibans.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. FightTerror

    When are we going to realize Pakistan is the biggest threat to peace in the world. Between them and Saudi Arabia, our two "allies", most of of terror is covered.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. MR

    These ACLU types conspire against everything that is good about this country. Why not protect the so called rights of those who were attempting to violate the rights of others. It's because of crap like this that the rest of the world laughs at us. In Iran they take mountain climbers hostage and throw them in prisons w/out due process. Here we treat them like they have the same rights as those who earned them. They should strip him of his citizenship and ship him back to Pakistan w/a tracking chip in his ass. Then when he finds his way back to an Al Queda hide out they should send in a smart bomb and blow them all up. This way he can visit his 72 virgins quicker.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Heywood J

    Why did it take so long for him to confess? Coercion? Torture? This is America and the law still states innocent until proven guilty. If he is guilty, so be it, but why is there so much xenophobia?

    April 28, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. IR

    Do you know what "material support" means? Go check what he's actually accused of having done, before you wish him dead.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    May I suggest that what makes democracy so great is that it gives each of us freedom and that it respects that freedom even when we use it unwisely – as long as we do not impinge on the freedom of others.

    Of course, the many perspectives we have means that the democratic process is fraught with views and values that must be held in tension – freedom versus safety, for example.

    It is also, ture, I believe, that the oil of a successful democracy is mutual respect and civility. Apart from these, all we are left with is brute force – which may be verbal at first, but can descend very rapidly from there.

    Innocent until proven guilty is a hallmark of our legal system that sets us apart from many nations in the world. It may be frustrating to see obviously guilty people take advantage of our system, but it is the very fact that we have such principles that makes America great. To treat someone as we think they deserve is to lose our greatness in the process.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. harry delta

    Comments along the lines of let's nuke'em, feed'em to sharks, etc..breed more terrorism. That's how we got here in the first place..Had we had tolerance and understanding with the aim of applying our sacred constitutional values fairly overseas, none of this mess would have been at our doorstep. Even though the current rulers of Saudi Arabia are convenient US allies common people there hate our guts ! In Pakistan multiple military regimes have wiped out democracy, hence another hotspot for terror. We can win over this mess by truly understanding the psychological and material needs of these people. The roots of their hatred must be understood and US foreign policy directed at wiping out their prejudices. This goal can only be achieved with tolerance for all religions and mankind. We must honestly look at ourselves in the mirror, then make peace with a deeper understanding of our own values.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
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