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Georgia Man Sentenced To 15 Years For Attempting To Help ISIS

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Casey Harper Contributor

A Georgia man was given the maximum sentence Tuesday for attempting to provide material support to Islamic State after a judge was not persuaded by his tearful plea.

Leon Nathan Davis, 37, of Augusta, Ga., pleaded guilty in May. He tearfully told the judge “I am an American” at his sentencing hearing before being given 15 years in federal prison, after which he will spend the rest of his life under supervised release.

Authorities had been monitoring Davis for more than a year before arresting him in Atlanta as he was about to leave on a plane for Turkey.

Davis told the judge Tuesday he became a Muslim while in prison for a drug trafficking conviction and was soon radicalized.

“I allowed myself to stray away from the truth of my religion, which is peace, love and humility,” Davis said. “They brainwashed me into thinking that hatred and death were the way into heaven.”

In one piece of evidence against Davis, he can be seen posing in a picture surrounded by weapons with the caption “ready for jihad.”

He also posted online, “One of my greatest desires is to kill Zionists and bring down Israel and the United States of America.”

“This defendant planned for over a year to join, assist and fight alongside an enemy of the United States,” U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver said in a statement.  “His actions were criminal and he now faces a lengthy federal prison sentence.  I commend the hard work of the federal and local agents who work to keep our nation safe from terrorist organizations such as ISIL.”

Davis is just one of a string of recent arrests from those trying to leave to join ISIS.

“The details and federal charges in this case provide a clear illustration of the problems that we face as a nation when our own citizens become radicalized in support of a foreign terrorist organization such as ISIL,” Special Agent in Charge Britt Johnson said in a statement.  “Today’s sentencing of Mr. Davis in federal court, however, clearly illustrates the consequences.”

Leon Nathan Davis mugshot

Leon Nathan Davis mugshot

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