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. DK

    Sgt S. I don't think anyone here means to belittle the belief of the our men & women in uniform or what they fight for.
    But weren't our troops sent over the to bring the Al Qaeda down because of the attack on US soil (9/11), if not then lets bring them home.
    Many us of are still digesting the invasion on Iraq, really, what did they ever do to us. And if they were such a threat why did the power to be stop the military when they had reached the front door back in 1992.
    And now it is sounding like they want to pick a fight with Iran.
    I don't have any negative feelings at all toward these people except the ones responsible for the Two Towers & Pentagon and other attacks on US citizens.
    I do believe if it weren't for the oil and the rich men's financial interest in that part of the world we wouldn't be invading other countries, but that is my personal conclusion.
    As for the child molestors and murderers if found guilty Hang Them so they can harm our children again. But thats for a different forum.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. steve

    Profiling is he only answer.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. marino

    I love my country, the US of A. But this is no way to treat a prisoner. He deserves to be treated with respect just like any human being. He "provided material" support for Al qaeda. He is a sympathizer but he did not bear arms and did not kill US soldiers. If all Americans support the American troops, then any American tourist caught on hostile land cna be charged with the same crimes and will end with the same fate. Would we like that to happen? Would you blame the enemy if they treated a captive American similarly?

    April 28, 2010 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Thomas

    If the evidence is irrefutable, he should be stripped of his American citizenship and shot as a traitor. At the very least, strip him of his American citizenship and lock him up for the rest of his life.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Greg Sikorski

    I am a great supporter of human rights, but for the rights of all humans. When one man takes it upon himself to participate in the assassination of many innocent fellow humans, he can no longer be considered "human". Therefore his rights should be and were rescinded. His treatment was "justice". Hopefully, many others like him will receive this same justice.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. SGT S (U.S. Army)

    From a Soldier these posts still confuse and break my heart. I see people justify vioating a persons consitutional rights with hatred or calls because someone is a "traitor". Those who are so quick to call for someones death really has never had to kill someone.

    I am as we speak in Iraq serving in the Army. I tell you directly that you badly hurt the soldier's over here by spewing racism, biogtery, and injustice over the computer and then saying it's for us to save our lives. I and my brothers and sisters would rather lay down our life then see one person's freedom and rights violated (even if they are a terrorist or suspected of it).

    Keep in mind we start a revolutionary war because the King of England stripped us of our rights and citizenship. You don't have to like it, but you have to honor that he is guartened rights just as any of you are, and no matter what his crime or how much danger his crime puts me and my soldiers in, we will defend his rights with our lives. And we will defend your rights will our lives too.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. DJ

    Re: "To some on the left, including some in the present admin, he is considered a hero."
    John, you should be ashamed of yourself. Just because you disagree with someone's politcs doesn't mean that the people you disagree with are anti-America. Most liberals are extremely patriotic. They may not wave flags and dress in colonial gear but they believe in freedom and love America and want this nation of ours to lead the world in progress and liberty.
    And if you're going to start lumping people who are in favor of the rights of women and homosexuals with an Islamist terrorist, consider cleaning your own house:
    Find me a liberal who is pushing for secession.
    Find me a liberal who is leading a militia to overthrow the government.
    Find me a liberal who has tried to murder an elected official.
    You can't just claim that all liberals are socialists or communists then lump these diseases of the left with Nazism and Islamist terror. Considering that Muslim terrorists want women covered from head to foot and gays executed, it's clear that American liberals wouldn't be welcomed in their ranks.
    So grow up and stop spouting off Fox News and Tea Party talking points and actually think about what you have to say. Liberals love America. They always have. They believe in accountability of our government and our citizens. They believe in freedom. I should hope you believe in the same.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. SGT S (U.S. Army)

    Hey Soldier you need to curb the language. That is beyond inapporiate for a Soldier. Remember your Creed of Professionalism.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. BG

    tolerance will accomplish nothing with these people. The extremist muslims are bent on bringing the entire world under muslim control "Their control" This had nothing to do with not being tolerant. The U.S. is one of the most tolerant countries in the world, not counting a minority of her citizens.
    This all started with Iran in the late 70's, or have some of you forgoten about that? Then nothing really until the Gulf war, when bin laden was angry that his home country let Americans on Saudi soil. I am currently stationed in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, and I will tell you, the only thing the "Extremists" understand is violence. W cannot codle them and try to win their hearts, but that is what we are doing, and that is what will lose this war.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jeeper

    "To some on the left, including some in the present admin, he is considered a hero."
    Do you consider him a hero?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. USA

    There should be no protests for this a-hole. His sentence should be death. This person basically committed treason. Those that support him should also be investigated. It is about time that America takes off the gloves and defends herself.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. SGT S (U.S. Army)

    I point of this Article was not how we approach a host country or some extremist muslims but our own citizen. No one is denying his crime and that he should face justice. But the call to strip him of his rights and that you can make an exception of the consitution because he is and extremist is wrong.

    NO ONE has the right to violate a citizens right, no matter what the crime. Calling to execute him for his crime after his due process is fine. Thats an opinion and is up for debate.

    To say we should not give him the benefit of a trial or trample over his constutional rights is wrong and so un-Americian I can't believe I am hearing it.

    Please don't let hatred or bigotry allow you to justify doing something so henious that it is unspeakable.

    Their is no execption to the constitution, their can never be. Or the whole reason why this country is founded upon is all for naught. So for all of you who think you should be able to violate a persons rights, then maybe I should violate your 3rd amendment right and quarter myself in your homes to prevent you from doing something stupid. See how much you want to trample on the Constitution then.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. James

    If we just kill the person we are no better than them. Speaking as a vetern that would lower us to the same as them. I think he should be punched in the groin everyday not killed.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. reza

    I can’t believe these comments are from citizens of “The Beacon of Freedom”
    Hehehe, unbelievable! So a criminal is less than a human? A terrorist must be killed without a fair trial? Just like that? The similarity between you and the Taliban.
    I don’t see any problem If you convict and execute him as a traitor in a fair trial, since the guy has acted like one. Though talking like members of Taliban about your enemy and treat them uncivilised is just …. Well Taliban like.
    You American should know 9/11 is not an excuse to forget about your core values.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. old fashioned

    The fact that this man could have a fair trial is true but, with a good lawyer, he could walk................kill the lawyers!!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
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