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KC Man Faces Prison Time After Being Part of al-Qaida Cell

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A sentencing date for a businessman who pleaded guilty more than two years ago to being part of an AL-Qaeda cell is moving forward.

Federal officials said Khalid Ouazzani worked in a small terror cell with two New York men.  They announced Monday both of those men pleaded guilty for their parts.

Ouazzani was a local business owner.  But FOX 4 is learning from a neighbor to his Kansas City business, that Ouazzani was not only a national threat, but a threat to them as well.

Ouazzani pleaded guilty more than two years ago to swearing an oath of allegiance to AL-Qaida in 2008, and funneling thousands of dollars to the terrorist group since 2007 through his business Truman Used Auto Parts near HWY 435 and Truman Rd.

According to one business owner nearby who wants to remain anonymous, said Ouazanni was no good neighbor. We'll call this neighbor "Joe."  Joe said he was told Ouazanni made a nasty threat to fellow workers.

"The message that I got is that he threatened to blow up our building," Joe said.

Joe said there was an extremely tumultuous relationship with Ouazanni in the five years Ouazzani occupied the space.  Joe documents their complaints in letters to the landowners, dating back to 2008, the same time Ouazanni met with the two New York men to discuss Ouazanni joining AL-Qaida.

Joe cites ongoing problems with Ouazanni, like the gate being left open where businesses store their items.

"When we actually got an opportunity to meet face-to-face, it was very brief and not very cordial because he was extremely disrespectful," Joe said.

Federal officials in New York said the two men Ouazanni worked with were Wesam El-Hanafi and Sabirhan Hasanoff.  Both pleaded guilty for their roles. Those documents only name a co-conspirator one, or CC1.  But U.S. Attorney spokesperson in Kansas City, Don Ledford, confirms CC1 refers to Ouazzani.

Ledford said Ouazzani faces up to 65 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million and an order of restitution.  Ledford said Ouazzani does not have a sentencing date scheduled yet.

We reached out to Ouazzani's attorney, Robin Fowler.  He declined to comment at this point.

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