Man who admitted to plotting US attacks to be sentenced
CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio man faces sentencing after pleading guilty to charges that he plotted attacks against a member of the U.S. military and a police station in support of the Islamic State group.
U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett scheduled a hearing for Wednesday for Munir Abdulkader.
Court documents said Abdulkader pleaded guilty to attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, providing material support of a foreign terrorist organization and to a firearms count.
Prosecutors are seeking a 25-year prison sentence. Defense attorneys said similar cases have drawn sentences of 15 years or less.
The 22-year-old West Chester Township man was arrested in May 2015.
Investigators said Abdulkader communicated with an Islamic State member. They said he wanted to behead a military employee and attack a police station.
He was arrested in a Mason parking lot in May 2015 after buying an AK-47 rifle.
A former CIA operations officer who has written extensively about terrorist organizations has claimed that Abdulkader was unfairly set up. In a court filing, Marc Sageman argued that the FBI’s use of a confidential source gave Abdulkader means to commit an attack that he wasn’t able to carry out without the government’s involvement.
Prosecutors said that Abdulkader had been in contact with an Islamic State operative before the confidential informant contacted him.
Court documents said the former Xavier University student was communicating with Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State militant who was reported killed in a U.S. drone strike in August 2015.
Federal authorities didn’t make the Abdulkader case public until earlier this year.
His arrest in 2015 came four months after another suburban Cincinnati youth was arrested by the FBI after buying assault weapons and ammunition, allegedly for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of the Islamic State group.
Christopher Lee Cornell, 22, of Green Township, pleaded guilty to three counts including attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5. Federal prosecutors in that case are seeking a 30-year sentence.
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