Al-Qaeda operative from NYC freed after spending less than 5 years in prison

Written by: Bno
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NEW YORK: An American citizen who grew up in New York City and became an operative at an al-Qaeda terrorist training camp has been sentenced to 10 years probation after spending less than five years in prison, NBC News reported on Tuesday.

Mohammed Junaid Babar was sentenced without the usual media coverage by a Manhattan federal judge in December. His friend Syed Hashmi, also from New York City, was sentenced to 15 years in prison just months earlier.

According to court documents, Hashmi was arrested in London in 2006 and eventually indicted in New York on charges in which he was accused of trying to provide military gear to al-Qaeda. He pleaded guilty and admitted that he had allowed Babar to store the gear in his apartment.

Babar had earlier gone to Pakistan in 2004 to furnish cash, explosives, night vision goggles and camping equipment to al-Qaeda, NBC News said. He later told investigators that he stayed there to set up a training camp and met terrorists who were later involved in the July 7, 2005 London bombings, killing 56 people including the four suicide bombers.

"I will kill every American that I see in Afghanistan. And while I'm in Pakistan, if I see them in Pakistan, I'll kill every American soldier I can in Pakistan," Baber allegedly said during an interview in 2004 when he left the United States for Pakistan, as reported by NBC News.

But when Babar was arrested by the feds he became extremely cooperative, NBC News said, providing detailed information about al-Qaeda to the FBI and admitting that he had bought explosives for terrorists who planned to bomb an office building in London. He also testified against the defendants at their trial.

In urging a federal judge to sentence him to time served, a federal prosecutor described Babar's efforts to cooperate with investigators as "more than substantial. They were in fact exceptional," providing information that was "credible, forthright, and detailed," NBC News reported.

The network cited court documents which showed that Babar was released on bail two years ago and, during his December sentencing hearing, told the judge that he regrets the choices he made and said they were "not the views that I have going forward."


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