New York

American who joined al-Qaida faces sentencing in New York

A New Yorker who joined al-Qaida and schemed with its leaders on how to attack the Long Island Rail Road is due in court for sentencing on terrorism charges.

Bryant Neal Vinas (VEE'-nuhs) pleaded guilty to charges he tried to kill American soldiers and provided support to the terror network before Pakistani authorities captured him in 2008.

A federal judge in Brooklyn will decide on Thursday whether Vinas' extensive cooperation after he was in custody should earn him a shorter prison term or even his freedom.

U.S. authorities credit the Patchogue (PACH'-awg) native with helping them identify al-Qaida members, pinpoint their hideouts and disrupt terror plots. The LIRR scheme apparently was never set in motion.