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New Yorker accused of trying to form a 'mini-al Qaida cell' pleads guilty
NEW YORK (AP) ' A native New Yorker accused of conspiring to join al-Qaida and start a mini al-Qaida cell has pleaded guilty to charges in the case.
Wesam El-Hanafi (WAH'-suhm el-HAN'-awf-ee) pleaded guilty Monday in Manhattan federal court.
Prosecutors say the Brooklyn-born El-Hanafi pledged loyalty to al-Qaida. They say he helped teach the group how to evade detection on the Internet after he went to Yemen in February 2008.
El-Hanafi was arrested in Virginia in April 2010, when he was brought to the United States from Dubai. He had been working in that country in a government job safeguarding computer systems.
Authorities say he willingly spoke to FBI agents after he realized he had been placed on a no-fly list.