He has citizenship in two of the most prosperous, advanced societies on the planet. How ’bout that gratitude? More on this story. “Aussie on NY terror charges,” by Carly Crawford for the Herald Sun, May 1:
The Australian man arrested as part of a growing al-Qaeda probe in New York is a devoted follower of fundamentalist Islam, sources say.
New York-based Sabirhan “Tareq” Hasanoff, who has both Australian and US citizenship, was one of two men charged with conspiring to provide material support al Qaeda in the US yesterday.
He is accused of lending the extremist network his computer expertise and handling huge sums of money for the group in New York.
Hasanoff’s co-accused, Wesam El-Hanafi, 33, allegedly travelled to terror hotbed Yemen to receive orders, later purchasing seven digital Casio watches online.
Such watches are often used as timers to set off terrorist bombs.
He and Hasanoff were arrested overseas and flown to the US ahead their court appearance in Virginia yesterday.
They each faced one count of conspiring with al Qaeda between November 2007 and March 2010 and face up to 15 years in jail.
Hasanoff, 34, allegedly received $US50,000 ($A66,000) from an al Qaeda associate in 2007 and later discussed joining the radical terror cell, court documents show.
The tenant who occupies his townhouse in Flushing, Queens, described Hasanoff as a polite family man who, like his wife Wahida, is heavily into fundamentalist Islam.
“She’s very religious and her husband is too,” Fahima Rustam told News Limited at the neat split-level home yesterday.
“I’m scared – he was very nice, very quiet person,” she said.
The FBI interviewed Ms Rustam early one morning about six months ago, digging for details about her landlord.
Hasanoff has two children – a boy aged five and a four-year-old daughter.
Two days ago, Ms Rustam got a phone call from Hasanoff’s sister who asked her to start writing her rent checks in the sister’s name, rather than her brother’s.
“She didn’t say why,” said Ms Rustam, who has rented the home for the past four years.
NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly played down fears of a looming terror attack, saying there was no evidence of a specific plot.
“This was part of an on-going investigation into material support for al-Qaeda,” NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly said.