A Somali-born naturalized U.S. citizen was sentenced to prison on Tuesday for training with terrorists overseas and plotting to orchestrate a terrorist attack on American soil.
U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson gave 26-year old Ohioan Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud 22 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release, for training with terrorists overseas and returning to the U.S. with the intent to perpetrate an attack, according to a report from the Justice Department. Evidence seized by the FBI indicates that Mohamud planned to kill military officers and other government and military employees.
Court documents show Mohamud obtained a U.S. passport and one-way ticket to Greece in 2014, but did not board his connecting flight to Greece and remained instead in Istanbul, from where he crossed the border into Syria. After arriving in Syria, Mohamud trained with the terrorist organization al-Nusrah Front, the Justice Department reports. In addition to training with the group and planning to execute an attack, he also recruited others into the terrorist organization.
Following Mohamud’s initial arrest, the state set his bond at $2 million, after which Mohamud sought to orchestrate a cover-up by giving false statements to the FBI. A grand jury charged Mohamud in 2015 with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group and for making false statements to the FBI. He pleaded guilty to both those charges but his plea remained sealed until June 2017, pending ongoing investigation.
“This case illustrates the effectiveness of the cooperative effort in the Columbus area to combat terrorism,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, noting the state’s effectiveness in recognizing and shutting down terrorist threats. (RELATED: Just One Of The Last Five Islamic Terrorists In US Was Native-Born)
Terrorists have perpetrated a number of attacks on American soil since early 2016, of which only one has been executed by a terrorist born in the United States. Columbus, Ohio, also saw a terrorist attack in Feb. 2016 by a Guinea native who yelled “Allahu Akbar” during his attack.
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