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An American student has admitted that he helped a friend send waterproof socks, ponchos and sleeping bags to al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan.

On the eve of his trial, Syed Hashmi pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide support to al-Qaeda in a district court in New York.

His plea was part of a last-minute deal with prosecutors in exchange for three other counts being dropped.

But as Al Jazeera's Kristin Saloomey reports, human rights activists have been critical of Hashmi's treatment and whether he would actually get a fair trial.

Source: Al Jazeera