A Texas teenanger was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on Monday for assisting a terrorist organization based in Pakistan.
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Michael Sewell, 18, helped recruit a “fellow American” for a group responsible for “unspeakable violence” across South Asia, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Texas.
Sewell was arrested in February and pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization three months later.
Investigators say Sewell posted threats online against people who he believed were opponents of his radical beliefs. His internet searches suggested he was looking into ways to carry out such attacks, and agents found an AR-15 style rifle, multiple magazines, and a multiple knives in his bedroom.
He had encouraged another individual to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the largest terror organizations in South Asia, according to authorities. He coached the co-conspirator about how to present himself to a facilitator, a person he believed would help arrange the accomplice’s travel to Pakistan. The facilitator turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.
“Sewell then contacted the facilitator to vouch for the co-conspirator’s intentions and promised that he would kill the co-conspirator if he turned out to be a spy,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said in a statement that “combatting terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority” 18 years after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“This case demonstrates how an American citizen can be radicalized by a violent ideology based upon hate and how the actions of the FBI and our partners on the Joint Terrorism Task Force worked tirelessly to prevent violence here, and abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. ___
This article is written by David Boroff from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.