New York, May 3 (ANI): In the 1998 Baruch College yearbook, Wesam (Khaled) El-Hanafi was a young man on his way to the top, but 12 years later, he is an Al Qaeda suspect along with his friend Sabirhan (Tareq) Hasanoff.
Both aged 33 and 34 respectively, are accused of pledging allegiance and technical help to terrorists in Yemen, the New York Daily News reports.
The pair was busted in Dubai and hauled to Virginia for arraignment. They are accused of trying to modernize an Al Qaeda cell in Yemen, giving 50,000 dollars to the group and supplying them with modern equipment.
According to experts, the emergence of educated and well-paid professionals allegedly turning to homegrown terrorism may mark a shift from disenfranchised, low-income radicals to a new class of criminal.
"Other countries have seen a similar pattern. First the fringe joins. When it gets dicier is when college-educated, ordinary, white-collar people start taking up the cause," a law enforcement source told the paper.
"They are attractive recruits because they are harder to spot, and move about more easily," he added.
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said: "Profiling doesn't work. There is no stereotype for who crosses that line or not. What works is investigating the criminal activities and following it back to those involved."
El-Hanafi and Hasanoff will arrive in New York this week. (ANI)