Aug. 21 (UPI) — An Indiana man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for sending bomb-making information to an undercover FBI informant with the intent of carrying out a terrorist attack, U.S. attorneys said Monday.
Prosecutors said 31-year-old Marlonn Hicks of Crown Point, Ind., was inspired by the June 12, 2016, massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. that was conducted by Omar Mateen, an Islamic State sympathizer who killed 49 people in the attack.
In the days after that attack, Hicks discussed “getting busy” with an FBI informant who was portraying himself to be an Islamic State supporter.
“Hicks sent this source two manuals on how to manufacture and use explosives and poisons and continued to discuss with this FBI source possible terror attacks,” prosecutors said in a statement. “Hicks made his motivation for the planned attacks clear, exclaiming that since the FBI and similar government personnel ‘have shut the door now [on his ability to travel to Islamic State-controlled territory and fight there] I’m gonna open the door to hell for them.'”
After sending the manuals to the informant, Hicks is accused of discussing how to coordinate the attacks and how to obtain firearms and practice using them.
“The online communications by Mr. Hicks drew swift attention from our agents, who had identified and monitored him early in his path to radicalization,” Special Agent in Charge Mendenhall said. “As this radicalization deepened, the FBI continued to monitor Mr. Hicks’ activity and took action to mitigate any threats, ensuring the public’s safety.”
Hicks was arrested in July 2016 and pleaded guilty in October of that year. He has been in federal custody since the arrest.
After his 15-year prison term, Hicks will also serve three years on supervised release.