Queens Man Pleads Guilty to Terror Charges

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010  |  Updated 4:02 PM EDT
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Queens Man Pleads Guilty to Terror Charges

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An American student accused of helping to shelter an al-Qaida military commander pleaded guilty  Tuesday on the eve of his trial.

In a brief court session in Manhattan federal court, Syed Hashmi entered a guilty plea to one charge of conspiracy to provide military support to al-Qaida.

Hashmi's trial was due to begin Wednesday. The former Brooklyn College student was arrested in London in 2006 and sent back to the United States for prosecution.

Both sides in the case recommended a maximum prison term of 15 years for the plea.

Hashmi, who grew up in Queens, was accused of sheltering an al-Qaida operative who organized training camps in Pakistan and letting the operative use his cell phone to arrange meetings with other alleged terrorists.  Hashmi also allegedly arranged to send gear, like ponchos, to al-Qaida members in Pakistan.

Hashmi had faced up to 70 years in prison if convicted of four criminal counts.

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