A Brooklyn man pleaded guilty today to helping al-Qaeda but denied that he sent Casio watches to Yemen to help trigger terrorist bombs, Reuters reports. Wesam El-Hanafi, 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and providing material support to a terrorist group: "In July 2009 I participated in a conversation with others in which we discussed seeking out additional contacts within al-Qaeda," he told a Manhattan judge. Prosecutors say the charges should get him 20 years.
But El-Hanafi insisted through his attorney that the Casios—which can be used to trigger bombs—were sent to Yemen as gifts for his family. En-Hanafi was apprehended in 2010 with Sabirhan Hasanoff, 36, a US/Australian citizen who admitted to similar crimes two weeks ago. El-Hanafi will return to court in October but has no sentencing date, thanks to a blood clot in his leg that's giving him health problems.