Extradited Pakistani Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

New York: A Pakistan-born American citizen extradited over the weekend from England pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiring to send money and military gear to associates of Al Qaeda, US prosecutors said.
The defendant, Syed Hashmi, 27, was returned to New York late Friday night from London, where he was arrested last June while trying to board a flight to Pakistan at Heathrow Airport. Hashmi had been in custody in England since his arrest. It was the first time a terror suspect had been extradited from Britain to the United States, prosecutors said.
Hashmi was ordered held in lieu of bail at an arraignment Wednesday in Federal District Court in New York City. He was carrying a large amount of cash at the time of his arrest and was planning to send it to Al Qaeda for use against American forces in Afghanistan, according to unnamed officials cited by news media.
Hashmi’s lawyer, Sean Maher, said he would vigorously fight the charges. “Mr. Hashmi is innocent,” he said. “He’s not a terrorist.”
He had been living in England for almost three years at the time of his arrest but was charged in the United States because he is an American citizen. He was born in Pakistan and came to the United States as a child, officials said.
Until about four years ago Hashmi, who graduated from Brooklyn College, had an address in Flushing, Queens, a borough of New York City.
According to a federal indictment last year, Hashmi conspired to provide “material support or resources” to members of Al Qaeda between January 2004 and May 2006. The indictment said the military gear was to be transported to Al Qaeda associates in South Waziristan, and used by Al Qaeda fighters against American forces in Afghanistan. The indictment did not specify the type of gear, but officials, cited by the media, said it included night-vision goggles.

 

 

 

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