Al-Qaeda grows in Brooklyn. “Feds: Brooklyn Man Traveled To Iraq To Wage ‘Jihad,'” by Jonathan Dienst and Ryan Smith for NBC New York, May 17:
A Brooklyn man charged with swearing allegiance to al Qaeda pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom Monday.
Prosecutors said Sabirhan Hasanoff traveled to Iraq and other Mideast countries to try to help the terror organization and to try to wage violent jihad.
“He performed real and tangible work on behalf of the (terror) group,” said assistant U.S. attorney John Cronan. He added that Hasanoff received “specific assignments” from al Qaeda operatives….
Prosecutors said Hasanoff and El-Hanafi purchased Casio watches and wired money to al Qaeda members. “Casio digital watches are valued by al Qaeda because they can be modified for use in explosives,” Cronan said….
Officials said the two men used their computer expertise to help al Qaeda members improve their clandestine communications.
Investigators said last year, several of their overseas terror contacts were arrested. Since then, investigators said the Brooklyn men were seeking new al Qaeda operatives to help in “jihad.”
After the court hearing, family members declined to comment — although at one point, they shoved a still photographer who was trying to take their picture.