An Albanian man living in Brooklyn pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, following his arrest last year as he tried to travel to Pakistan in the hopes of fighting with a jihadist organization.
Federal prosecutors had alleged that Agron Hasbajrami, who came to the US in February 2008 and lived in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, had hoped to die as a martyr in Pakistan. He had sent more than $1,000 to an individual overseas to support a Pakistani jihadist group, prosecutors said.
Hasbajrami, 28, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in September after he purchased a one-way airline ticket to Turkey, in hopes of then traveling to Pakistan, according to prosecutors.
Hasbajrami, who has been in custody since his arrest, faces up to 15 years in prison. As a condition of his plea, he agreed to be deported from the US.
Prosecutors had alleged that Hasbajrami began sending money overseas in 2010 to support jihadist activities in tribal areas in Pakistan. He allegedly told the individual to whom he was sending money that he wanted to travel overseas and "marry with the girls in paradise," common jihadist rhetoric that refers to dying as a martyr, prosecutors said.
He had previously purchased a ticket to Turkey in August 2011 -- about a month before his arrest -- but canceled the trip, prosecutors said.
After his arrest, FBI agents found several handwritten notes in his residence, including one that said, "Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time," prosecutors said.