A former member of the Army National Guard, Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for trying to aid the Islamic State.
U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady handed down the sentence Friday, also adding that Jalloh would be on five years supervised released after he serves his term, according to the Department of Justice.
Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, 27, of Sterling, Virginia, and a former member of the Army National Guard, was sentenced today to 11 years in prison and five years supervised release for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.
Jalloh pleaded guilty on Oct. 27, 2016. According to court documents, in March 2016, a now-deceased member of ISIL who was located overseas brokered an introduction between Jalloh and an individual in the U.S. who was actually an FBI confidential human source (CHS). The ISIL member was actively plotting an attack in the U.S. and believed the attack would be carried out with the assistance of Jalloh and the CHS. Jalloh met with the CHS on two occasions and told the CHS he was a former member of the Virginia Army National Guard, but that he decided not to re-enlist after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Inside the luxury Mosul hotel that housed ISIS elite
Jalloh had recently taken a six-month trip to Africa where he had met with ISIL members in Nigeria and first began communicating online with the ISIL member who later brokered his introduction to the CHS. During their meeting, Jalloh also told the CHS he thought about conducting an attack all the time, and that he was close to doing so at one point.
Jalloh claimed to know how to shoot guns and praised the gunman who killed five U.S. military members in a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July 2015. Jalloh also stated he had been thinking about conducting an attack similar to the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood, Texas, in November 2009, which killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, during the May 2016 meeting, Jalloh asked the CHS about the timeline for an operation and commented that it was better to plan an attack operation for the month of Ramadan, and stated that such operations are, “100 percent the right thing.” Jalloh also asked if the CHS could assist him in providing a donation to ISIL. Ultimately, Jalloh provided a prepaid cash transfer of $500 to a contact of the CHS that Jalloh believed was a member of ISIL, but who was in fact an undercover FBI employee.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in June 2016, Jalloh travelled to North Carolina and made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain firearms. On July 2, 2016 Jalloh went to a gun dealership in northern Virginia, where he test-fired and purchased an assault rifle. Unbeknownst to Jalloh, the rifle was rendered inoperable before he left the dealership with the weapon. Jalloh was arrested the following day and the FBI seized the rifle.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Gibbs and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon L. Van Grack for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Trial Attorney Jolie Zimmerman of the National Security Division’s Counter-terrorism Section prosecuted the case.
Libya Strikes Kill More Than 80 ISIS Fighters
The case dates back to March 2016, when Jalloh was introduced by an overseas member of ISIS, Abu Sa’ad Sudani, to another supposed local member of ISIS. But the problem is that local ISIS member was actually an FBI source. Sudani is now dead.
This overseas ISIS member was trying to plot an attack inside the U.S. and figured that both Jalloh and the FBI source would be the ones to carry it out.
Jalloh, who was born in Sierra Leone, met with the FBI source twice and said after listening to lectures by deceased al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki, he decided not to continue his service in the Virginia Army National Guard. He also told the source he found himself thinking about conducting an attack constantly, one that looked like the terrorist attack at Fort Hood in 2009, when U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire, killing 13 people and injuring 32 others. Jalloh also said he admired the attacker who killed five service members in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2015.
Slightly before this event, he had decided to take a long trip to Nigeria. There, he met several ISIS members in Nigeria and established contact with the ISIS member who would later introduce him to the FBI source. He was initially going to travel to Libya to join the terrorist group, but backed out.
His downfall came when he met with the FBI source in May 2016 and began plotting for an attack during the month of Ramadan. But still, he was unsure if his “heart would be strong and not fail him” during a terror attack, and so he figured that at the very least he could give a donation.
Jalloh then gave a $500 prepaid cash transfer to an FBI agent, who the FBI source said was an ISIS member. But the FBI didn’t immediately arrest him, instead waiting until July when Jalloh tried to obtain an assault rifle from a gun dealership. He bought the weapon and walked out, but the weapon had actually been disabled without his knowledge.
The next day, the FBI finally arrested him.