Ex-Guardsman to be sentenced for Islamic State group support

Ex-Guardsman to be sentenced for Islamic State group support

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Mohamed Jalloh served six years in the National Guard and about 18 hours as a recruit of the Islamic State group.

Jalloh, 27, of Sterling, Virginia, is to be sentenced Friday for providing material support to a terrorist group. Prosecutors are seeking a 20-year sentence. The defence is asking for a term of less than seven years.

Jalloh is one of more than 100 people in the U.S. to be charged with terror offences connected to the Islamic State since 2014, according to George Washington University’s Extremism Tracker, and one of seven from the northern Virginia area alone to be charged in the past two years.

In Jalloh’s case, the charges originated from an FBI sting operation. After his arrest, though, Jalloh admitted that he had made his own contact with the group before he had ever been introduced to the FBI informant — contact the government had been unaware of at the time.

Jalloh, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Sierra Leone, had travelled back to Africa with his father in 2015. While there, he met an Islamic State recruiter. In August 2015, Jalloh travelled from Sierra to Leone to stay with the group’s facilitator. He intended to travel to Libya to join the Islamic State, but the plans fell through.

Later that year, Jalloh travelled to Niger, again with the intent of joining the group. This time, he went so far as to get on a truck with a bunch of other recruits to trek across the Sahara to Libya. But, in court papers, Jalloh described how he got cold feet and sneaked off the truck after 18 hours.

“Guys in the truck would whip people with a hose to pack you in,” Jalloh said, describing his experience as a recruit. “This was the worst, most scary situation that I had ever been in as an adult.”

Before returning to the U.S., Jalloh made contact online with an IS operative named Abu Saad Sudani, who put Jalloh in contact with a person he hoped would help Jalloh carry out an attack in the U.S. But that person turned out to be a government informant.

In conversations with the informant, Jalloh discussed carrying out a Fort Hood-style attack. He also sent hundreds of dollars to an undercover FBI employee he believed was an IS member.

Jalloh’s lawyers describe his interest in the Islamic State group as a “flirtation” that stemmed from a difficult childhood in war-torn Sierra Leone that left him with little parental guidance. They say that when Jalloh met with the informant, his goal was to be set up with a Muslim woman he could marry, but the informant continually steered the conversation to violence.

In court papers, Jalloh renounces the Islamic State group.

“I feel like a complete idiot for accepting such a superficial and dishonest interpretation of Islam,” Jalloh wrote in a letter to the court.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

COSAR makes Kelowna Law Day debut

The search and rescue team was on scene as Girl Guides were arrested left and right

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

Battle of the concert bands in Lake Country

The annual Concert Band competition is held at Creekside Theatre April 24 to 26

Snoozed through the news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, the Capital News will feature popular stories from the week

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

VIDEO: 33 Oliver-area homes evacuated due to flooding

Flooding in the Sportsman Bowl area has swelled drastically over course of one week

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read