A man from Arlington, Virginia, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for attempting to join and provide material support to ISIS. He plead guilty in October 2016, telling the court he renounced the extremist group completely.
Former National Guardsman Mohamed Jalloh, 27, is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Sierra Leone. In 2015, he left the U.S. for Sierra Leone to stay with his father, according to the Daily Mail. Once there, he met an ISIS group facilitator and decided to join the terrorist organization. While on a truck to Libya with other recruits, he changed his mind and snuck off the vehicle.
“Guys in the truck would whip people with a hose to pack you in,” he said, according to court documents. “This was the worst, most scary situation that I had ever been in as an adult.”
Although he was too afraid to join ISIS recruits in Libya, he was still willing to carry out terrorist attacks back in the U.S. Before returning home, he connected with an ISIS operative online and said he would carry out a Ford Hood-style attack on a U.S. military base. The operative was actually an undercover FBI agent who became aware of Jalloh’s interest in the extremist organization.
According to NBC, he told the informant that he hoped to execute an attack similar to the one carried out by Maj. Nidal Hasan in 2009. Hasan shot up a military post in Texas, killing 13 and wounding 32.
“Sometimes, you just have to take action. You can’t be thinking too much. You have to pick a action and take it,” Jalloh said to the informant in a recorded conversation. When the agent asked what type of action Jalloh meant, he replied “Nidal Hasan type of things.”
Jalloh was arrested after attempting to buy an AR-15 military-style rifle in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jalloh pleaded guilty to attempting to assist ISIS. Although prosecutors were hoping for a 20-year sentence, the defense argued Jalloh deserved less because he renounced the extremist 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.
On Feb. 10, the court sentenced Jalloh to 11 years imprisonment. He is one of 100 people from the U.S. to be charged with connections to ISIS since 2014.