Former New York City accountant convicted of aiding al Qaeda to be released from prison early
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Former New York City accountant convicted of aiding al Qaeda to be released from prison early

A Manhattan federal judge on Tuesday ordered that a former New York City accountant who admitted to scoping out the New York Stock Exchange for al Qaeda be released early from his 18-year prison sentence.

Sabirhan Hasanoff, who goes by the name Tareq, originally pled guilty in June 2012 to “one count of providing and attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda.”

According to the New York City Attorney, Tareq “not only funneled equipment capable of being used for nefarious purposes and thousands of dollars to al Qaeda operatives abroad, he also travelled to U.S. soil to surveil a major New York landmark for a potential terrorist attack.”

Judge Kimba Wood, who originally sentenced Tareq to 18 years back in 2012, is now the same judge who orders for his early release under a law allowing the early “compassionate release” of some prison inmates. Here, Judge Wood cited “extraordinary and compelling” reasons for Tareq’s early release, including evidence that he was the only available caregiver for his mother, who is in poor health, and his “striking and unique efforts” to rehabilitate himself since his April 2010 arrest. These efforts included working in a chapel at the New York federal prison, teaching classes focused on tolerance and moderation in Islam, and teaching accounting and finance classes.

While Hasanoff’s crimes were “extremely serious,” Wood wrote that “this is a rare case in which a defendant exceeds the bounds of what we consider rehabilitation.”