US citizens were charged Friday with conspiring to aid al-Qaeda by providing computer help and other services, the US Justice Department said, dpa reported.
Wesam el-Hanafi, 33, and Sabirhan Hasannoff, 34, "conspired to modernize al-Qaeda by providing computer systems expertise and other goods and services," US attorney Preet Bharara said.
El-Hanafi, born in New York, allegedly swore an oath to al-Qaeda while in Yemen. Hasanoff, who has both Australian and US passports, performed tasks for al-Qaeda while living in New York, according to the indictment.
Both men allegedly met with a third, unnamed person to discuss joining al-Qaeda. El-Hanafi bought a software program to communicate securely with al-Qaeda and purchased digital watches for the group, which have been linked to bombings in the past.
Both face 15 years in prison if found guilty.