(STERLING, Va.) — A former National Guardsman was arrested for allegedly attempting to provide material support to ISIS — and told investigators he wanted to carry out an attack in the style of the Fort Hood mass shooting, according to the Department of Justice.
Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, 26, a former member of the Army National Guard living in Sterling, Virginia, allegedly attempted to assist “in the procurement of weapons” to be used in what he believed was going to be an attack on U.S soil in the name of ISIS, according to the Department of Justice.
The complaint also claims that Jalloh tried to give the group money and helped “in the facilitation of individuals seeking to join” the terrorist group.
The $500 he allegedly thought he was giving to ISIS went to an account that was operated by the FBI, officials said.
Jalloh was born in Sierra Leone, and is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was influenced by a number of terrorists and suspected terrorist who perpetrated or planned attacks against the U.S, according to court documents.
He allegedly dropped out of the National Guard after listening to lectures by American and Yemen imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen in 2011 with a U.S. drone strike in 2011.
The court documents explain that Jalloh became curious about al-Awlaki after hearing the media refer to him as a “hate preacher,” and said that the imam’s lectures, which he found online, influenced a change in his perspective.
Jalloh served in the Virginia National Guard from April 30, 2009, to April 29, 2015, and he held the rank of specialist when he separated with an honorable discharge. He served in the 276th Engineer Battalion, 91st Troop Command as a combat engineer, according to From A. A. “Cotton” Puryear, state public affairs officer for Virginia National Guard. National Guard records show he received the Army Service Ribbon and National Defense Service Medal.
Prosecutors also allege that Jalloh told a source that Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the perpetrator of a drive-by shooting at a military recruitment center in Chattanooga, Tenn. that killed five, was a “very good man,” according to the court documents.
He had allegedly purchased a Glock 19 handgun, and expressed to a source his desire to perpetrate an attack in the style of Nidal Hasan, American Army serviceman convicted of murdering 13 people and injuring more than 30 others in the Fort Hood mass shooting on Nov. 5, 2009.
On Friday, Jalloh attempted to buy an AR-15 assault rifle from a gun store in Chantilly, Virginia but was declined because he lacked the appropriate paperwork. The court affidavit says Jalloh returned the next day, and bought a different rifle, which was rendered inoperable in the store.
In June of 2015, Ali Shukri Amin, a Virginia teenager, was sentenced to 11 years for using Twitter to radicalize others on behalf of ISIS.
If convicted of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS, which is a designated foreign terrorist organization, Jalloh faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to a statement published by the Department of Justice.
Jalloh made his first court appearance on Monday. He will remain in custody and his bond hearing scheduled for July 12, 2016.
He only spoke when the judge asked is he had retained council, which he answered, “yes, sir.”
Jalloh’s attorney, Ashraf Nubani, declined to comment on the case.
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