ISIS Sympathizer Slapped With 20 Years For Obstructing Counterterrorism Investigation

Neetu Chandak | Contributor

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sentenced a Virginia man to 20 years in prison for blocking a counterterrorism investigation, according to the the Department of Justice Friday.

Sean Andrew Duncan, a 22-year old of Sterling, Virginia, “altered, destroyed, mutilated, concealed and covered up a thumb drive and memory chip with the intent to impede and obstruct an FBI terrorism investigation,” said the DOJ press release.

The DOJ learned of Duncan’s interest in working with the Islamic State in June 2017. A family member complained that he started expressing radical views after marrying Zakiya Sadeq in January 2016, according to court documents.

The doubts were confirmed after an ISIS recruiter was arrested by foreign law officials in October 2017, where officials found a handwritten name “Sean Ibn Gary Duncan,” with Duncan’s contact information.

Around the same time, Allegheny County Police Department (ACPD) were investigating the death of Duncan’s four-month-old baby. Autopsy records were inconclusive. (RELATED: U.S. Citizen Found Guilty Of ‘Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS’)

ACPD obtained messages from Duncan’s phone and provided copies to the FBI.

Officials came across links and searches relating to ISIS attacks, body armor, and weaponry. One link law enforcement found was an article from Inspire magazine, which is published by al-Qaeda, called “How to build a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom.”

Police also discovered thousands of illegally downloaded images of children and babies sexually abused by men in Duncan’s phone. He was involved with the production of the content as well, where videos of women and children were shown in a “voyeuristic manner.”

A search warrant at Duncan’s home was conducted by the FBI on Dec. 29, 2017. During the process, Duncan dashed out a back door barefoot and threw a bag with a broken memory chip surrounded by a “liquid substance that produced frothy white bubbles.”

Duncan pleaded guilty on April 9, according to The Washington Post. After prison, Duncan will face a lifetime of supervised release.

It is believed Duncan converted to Islam as a high school senior, according to the Washington Post.

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