A former CFO in the US has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for providing al-Qaida with financial and informational support.
American and Australian citizen Sabirhan Hasanoff pleaded guilty at Manhattan federal court last year to supporting al-Qaida, conspiring with others and had to forfeit US$70,000.
The former KPMG and PwC employee received his sentence at the same court this week, three years after he was first arrested in 2010, where he was working in Dubai as a CFO.
The court heard how Hasanoff provided extensive support to al-Qaida from 2007 to 2010, including conducting surveillance into the New York Stock Exchange and sending a one-page report to a co-conspirator in Yemen.
Prosecutors said he also bought the organisation a remote control for explosives attacks and made regular cash donations to those he thought were associated with al-Qaida.
The accountant also sought to travel overseas to get military training to fight Americans, they added.
US intelligence officials said that Hasanoff was a known extremist in Yemen and they had monitored him through the US National Security Agency.
District judge Kimba Wood said that the former PwC senior manager appeared to be a “good family man” before he became involved with al-Qaida.
Hasanoff wrote to the judge on 17 June apologising for his conduct, saying he regretted abandoning his life in the US, where he formerly lived in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
He said he had got involved with al-Qaida to reconcile with his Muslim faith due to atrocities he saw being committed against it around the world.
His lengthy sentence was two years less than asked for by assistant US attorney John Cronan. The judge said it was important that the 18-year sentence would act as a deterrent to anyone else from going down the same or a similar route.
The case is USA v El-Hanafi et al, US District Court, Southern District of New York, 10-cr-00162.