A US citizen for 15 years, the West Bank-born Maher “Mike” Hawash together with five others had planned to “die as martyrs” for the Taliban.

The US Justice Department said Hawash will receive a lighter jail term for admitting that he and his accomplices had attempted to reach Afghanistan via China and Pakistan six weeks after the September 11 attacks.

After agreeing to testify against his alleged co-conspirators, Hawash is expected to receive a sentence of seven to 10 years in prison.

Married with three children in Hillsboro, Oregon, Hawash had signed over his home to his wife before leaving for China.

After his arrest last March, Hawash was held in solitary confinement for over a month before he was charged, prompting objections from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Until he confessed his guilt, colleagues of Hawash in INTEL Corp, where he worked, had also vehemently defended his innocence.