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.
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.