A New York accountant accused by U.S. authorities of helping al Qaeda with computer systems pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court to terrorism-related charges.

Sabirhan Hasanoff, 36, a dual U.S. and Australian citizen who owns a home in Brooklyn, New York, was arrested in April 2010 and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda.

At a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Hasanoff told Judge Kimba Wood that between 2007 and 2010 he agreed to give support to the militant Islamist network.

He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Before his arrest Hasanoff had been a group chief financial officer for a Dubai-based company for 3-1/2 years.

At a hearing weeks after his arrest, federal prosecutor John Cronan said Hasanoff’s “advanced computer knowledge,” as well as his two passports, made him a prime asset to the militant group. Cronan said Hasanoff “agreed to join and support al Qaeda.”

Hasanoff was arrested along with New York-born Wesam El-Hanafi, 37, against whom proceedings have been delayed due to medical problems.

Manhattan federal Prosecutors say Hasanoff received $50,000 from an unnamed co-conspirator. Later, he and El-Hanafi met with the unnamed source, who eventually instructed El-Hanafi to perform tasks for al Qaeda, court documents said.


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