Al-Qaida supporter imprisoned in US

A member of a New York "terrorist sleeper cell" was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in prison for providing material support to al-Qaida.

    Al-Bakri (top left) trained at an Afghan al-Qaida camp

    Mukhtar al-Bakri, 23, is the first

    of the so-called "Lackawanna

    Six" - all US citizens of Yemeni descent - to be incarcerated.

    The

    six were arrested more than a year ago and a

    ll eventually pleaded guilty to the charge of providing

    material support to al-Qaida.

    They also agreed to cooperate with US

    authorities, and to provide information on their stint in an al-Qaida

    training camp in Afghanistan.

    The group attended the camp near Kandahar in the spring of 2001.

    As well as receiving weapons training, they heard an address by

    al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin who, according to testimony from the

    six, announced that 50 men were on "a mission to attack America".

    Jabir al-Banah is wanted by the
    FBI 

    Surveillance operation 

    Federal investigators had rounded up the six suspects in

    Lackawanna near Buffalo in September 2002 after detecting a new tone

    in their telephone and e-mail communications

    .

    The group was apparently using new code words and phrases that

    suggested a possible "terrorist" attack, the investigators said.

    However, defence lawyers had argued there was no evidence any of the

    defendants posed a risk to the community.

    Sentencing of the five other members of the cell will take place

    over the next two weeks.

    A seventh man, Jabir al-Banah, charged in May with membership of

    the group, is still at large and believed to be abroad.

    SOURCE: AFP


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