A radical Muslim will be spending at least 18-years in federal prison for participating in a terrorism-financing conspiracy by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, currently at war with the government of Yemen, according to the U.S. Attorney's report on Monday in New York City.
Sabirhan Hasanoff was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood in a Manhattan federal courtroom for his providing and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda associates in Yemen and elsewhere and for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda over the course of nearly three years.
A citizen of Australia, he was employed by accounting firms including KPMG and Price, Waterhouse, Coopers. Born in China, Hasanoff's Uzbekistani family moved to Australia when he was a baby. From there, he and his family ended up in Brooklyn, N.Y.
As with other Muslim Americans, Hasanoff became radicalized by American cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, who lived in Yemen.
According to federal authorities, the 37-year-old Hasanoff was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in 2010 and transferred to the custody of U.S. law enforcement agents. The terrorist suspect pled guilty in June 2012 to one count of providing and attempting to provide material support and resources to al-Qaeda and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al-Qaeda.
According to various public filings and sworn statements made by the defendant during proceedings in Manhattan federal court, for two years -- beginning in 2007 and ending in 2009 -- Hasanoff supported al-Qaeda through his activity in a number of functions. Hasanoff and fellow Islamist, Wesam El-Hanafi, sent equipment, including remote-controlled devices for use in bomb attacks, to Muslim terrorists overseas.
In addition, Hasanoff and his co-conspirator funneled about $67,000 (U.S. currency) to al-Qaeda leaders and members overseas. Hasanoff and El-Hanafi collected some of this money from a third individual who resided in the United States.
During 2007-2009, both defendants used aliases to disguise the source of their money when making surreptitious cash transfers to their terrorist contacts.
Hasanoff also had made plans to travel to Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq in order to engage in "jihad."
In August 2008, Hasanoff entered the United States from abroad, travelled to New York City, and performed surveillance on the New York Stock Exchange -- all on instructions from overseas terrorists who were considering the location for a possible attack. The information that Hasanoff gathered on the stock exchange was then sent to the terror operatives, according to a statement from Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
"In addition to his prison term, Hasanoff, a dual citizen of the United States and Australia who resided in Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $200 special assessment fee and forfeiture in the amount of $70,000," said Bharara during his announcement of the prison sentence.
Meanwhile, in June 2012, El-Hanafi had already pled guilty to one count of providing material support and resources to al-Qaeda, and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al-Qaeda.
El-Hanafi was a Brooklyn information technology security specialist who had worked at Lehman Brothers investment bank. He faces a maximum sentence of 20-years in federal prison.