WASHINGTON, DC, USA – A 27-year-old American who joined the Islamic State group (ISIS) and agreed to be a suicide bomber was convicted on Wednesday, June 7m of helping the terrorist organization, US prosecutors said.
Mohamad Jamal Khweis had traveled in December 2015 to ISIS' Syrian stronghold of Raqa after quitting his job, selling his car and closing online accounts, authorities said. His family had no idea of his plans.
During his trial, Khweis admitted he spent about two and a half months as a member of ISIS, taking part in religious training and staying in various safe houses.
"When Khweis joined ISIS, he agreed to be a suicide bomber," the Department of Justice said in a statement.
He was detained by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in March 2016 in Tal Afar, Iraq.
"Khweis is not a naive kid who didn't know what he was doing," said Dana Boente, acting assistant attorney general for national security and US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
"He is a 27-year-old man who studied criminal justice in college. He strategically planned his travel to avoid law enforcement suspicion, encrypted his communications, and planned for possible alibis."
A federal jury convicted Khweis on all 3 charges against him, including providing and conspiring to provide material support or resources to ISIS, and a related firearms count.
He will be sentenced on October 13 and faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison. – Rappler.com