Terrorists Con American al-Qaeda Supporters

Money sent for military training kept by al-Qaeda leaders

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2013 12:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – Three Americans who sent thousands of dollars abroad to feed al-Qaeda terrorist plots have found their money wasn't quite going where they intended. Rather than being used for military training, the $300 sent each month—plus watches, cold-weather gear, GPS units, and a remote-control car—was divided between Yemen leaders, who kept the loot for themselves, the AP reports via Fox News. Khalid Ouazzani, Sabirhan Hasanoff, and Wesam El-Hanafi now await sentencing after pleading guilty to federal crimes.

Hasanoff's lawyer said the men "were victims of a rudimentary fraud." Hasanoff told the judge, "I was never going to provide anything useful and, had I been pressed for more, would have said no," reports the Kansas City Star. Prosecutors note, however, that all three hoped to "support violent extremist causes." Though Yemen officials encouraged the men to complete a "martyrdom" mission, they didn't take kindly to the idea of blowing themselves up. Instead, they believed their donations would be used for their own training in Somalia, Iraq, or Afghanistan, the AP reports.

This photo provided by the Kansas City Police Department shows Khalid Ouazzani, who pleaded guilty May 19, 2010, to taking part in a conspiracy to provide financial support to the terrorist group.   (AP Photo/Kansas City Police Department)
In this artist's drawing Wesam El-Hanafi, center, and Sabirhan Hasanoff are seen with US Attorney John Cronan during their initial appearance on terrorism related charges on Friday, April 30, 2010.   (AP Photo/William Hennessy, Jr.)
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