New Yorker in London gets prison for al-Qaida help

A New Yorker extradited from Great Britain was sentenced Wednesday 9 June to 15 years in prison for helping an al-Qaida operative supply equipment to militants in Afghanistan.

U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska said the stiff sentence was intended to send a message to anyone tempted to join the network of al-Qaida “sympathizers and facilitators” who “hide under the cloak” of American citizenship.

Syed Hashmi, a 30-year-old Pakistani-American, had pleaded guilty in April in federal court in Manhattan to charges he stashed away equipment for two weeks in 2004 in his apartment while studying in London. The al-Qaida operative eventually gave the raincoats, ponchos and waterproof socks to a high-ranking al-Qaida member.

Hashmi was arrested in June 2006 at Heathrow Airport in London as he was about to board a flight to Pakistan. A year later, he became the first person to be extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States on terrorism charges.

(H/T to Georgetown Law SLB)

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