A former member of the US Army National Guard has been thrown in jail after being found guilty of supporting terrorist organizations with both his military knowledge and money.
On Friday, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said Mohamed Bailor Jalloh will stay behind bars for 11 years, on top of five years supervised release, after being caught red-handed supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The 27-year-old from Sterling, Virginia, was once a member of the Virginia Army National Guard. However, Jalloh decided not to re-enlist after exploring terrorist material online and watching lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as talking to ISIL members online after meeting them on a six-month trip to Africa.
According to court documents, in March 2016, a now-deceased member of ISIL overseas got in touch and facilitated a meeting between Jalloh and who he thought was an active member of ISIL in the US who was plotting a terrorist attack.
However, the US-based ISIL "member" was actually an FBI source.
Jalloh plotted with the FBI source and the overseas ISIL representative to conduct the attack. The former Army National Guard member met twice with the FBI source and told them he thought about "conducting an attack all the time," and that he "was close to doing so at one point," according to US prosecutors.
A shooting he considered emulating was the terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas, which killed 13 people and injured 32 others in 2009. Speaking to the FBI's source, Jalloh said that planning an attack around Ramadan would be best, and such actions would be "100 percent the right things."
In addition, the 27-year-old gave $500 to a contact of the FBI's source to fund what he believed would be ISIL operations.
In July last year, Jalloh went to a firearms merchant in Virginia where he tested and purchased an assault rifle -- however, he was not aware the firearm had been covertly disabled before he left the shop. The FBI then closed in and arrested him the following day.
Jalloh pleaded guilty on October 27, 2016.
The case was overseen and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney John Gibbs, US District Judge Liam O'Grady, Special Assistant US Attorney Brandon Van Grack for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Jolie Zimmerman of the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section.