US-Australian jailed for 18 years over Qaeda support

NEW YORK (AFP) - A man with dual US-Australian citizenship was jailed for 18 years in New York on Monday after pleading guilty to providing material and financial support to Al-Qaeda, justice officials said.

Sabirhan Hasanoff, 37, was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in 2010 and pleaded guilty in 2012.

Prosecutors said Hasanoff had conspired with a co-defendant, Wesam El-Hanafi, to send thousands of dollars to Al-Qaeda operatives overseas between 2007 and 2009.

Hasanoff had also travelled to the United States in 2008 to carry out surveillance on the New York Stock Exchange, which had been pinpointed as a possible target for attack by overseas terrorists.

"Today's sentence reflects the egregiousness of Sabirhan Hasanoff's conduct," US attorney for Manhattan Preet Bharara said in a statement.

"The defendant not only funneled equipment capable of being used for nefarious purposes and thousands of dollars to Al-Qaeda operatives abroad, he also travelled to US soil to surveil a major New York landmark for a potential terrorist attack."

El-Hanafi has also pleaded guilty to charges of providing support to Al-Qaeda and conspiring to provide resources to Al-Qaeda. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.