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US defends NY charges in mini al-Qaida cell case
Prosecutors say New Yorker accused of trying to form mini al-Qaida cell is properly charged
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Federal prosecutors say a native New Yorker accused of conspiring to join al-Qaida (al-KY'-ee-duh) and start a mini al-Qaida cell eagerly spoke to the FBI and shouldn't have his statements suppressed.

Prosecutors in Manhattan filed papers Friday defending the charges they brought last year against Wesam El-Hanafi. Prosecutors say the Brooklyn-born El-Hanafi pledged loyalty to al-Qaida and helped teach the terror group how to evade detection on the Internet after he went to Yemen in February 2008.

They say he willingly spoke to FBI agents after he realized he had been placed on a no-fly list.



Defense lawyers for El-Hanafi have submitted written arguments seeking to have charges tossed out and statements he made to the FBI suppressed.


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