Ex-guardsman gets prison for supporting Islamic State

Army soldiers salute for the national anthem during the III Corps and Fort Hood Memorial Ceremony, held to honor the 13 victims of the Nov. 5 shootings in Killeen, Texas on Nov. 10, 2009. UPI/Robert Hughes | License Photo

Feb. 11 (UPI) — A former Virginia National Guard soldier and childhood refugee from Africa was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, prosecutors said.

Mohamad Bailor Jalloh, 27, of Sterling, Va., pleaded guilty to the charge in October, after undercover FBI agents said he expressed a desire to carry out an attack similar to the Orlando nightclub shooting or the attack on Fort Hood. Prosecutors said Jalloh, who was brought to the United States as a child after fleeing violence in his native Sierra Leone, also met with another undercover FBI agent posing as a member of the Islamic State and gave him $500 to support the terrorist group.

Arguing for a lighter sentence, Jalloh’s attorney Joseph Flood said his client endured a difficult childhood marked by political and domestic violence, sexual assault and an unsettled family situation, the Washington Post reported. His troubled upbringing left Jalloh “gullible” and susceptible to coercion. He said undercover FBI agents had hounded him to carry out a terrorist attack and he agreed to please them, but never intended to do it.

Prosecutors pointed to the cash and his purchasing an AR-15 assault-style rifle and a Glock handgun. FBI agents were tailing Jalloh and before he purchased them, had rendered the firearms inoperable. Jalloh was arrested a day after buying the guns.

Prosecutors also said Jalloh met with Islamic State recruiters during a trip to Africa to visit his father in 2015. Flood said Jalloh fled the recruiters and decided not to join the organization, further proof he was not a serious threat.

Jalloh faced a maximum 20 years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady sentenced him to 11 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.


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