A former Army National Guardsman and Muslim immigrant from Sierra Leone, Mohamed Bailor Jalloh pleaded guilty on October 27th, 2016, to charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement.
Jalloh, 27, of Sterling, Va., was arrested in July on charges of assisting an ISIS plot to attack the United States and was taken into custody.
Court documents said a now deceased member of ISIS who was plotting an attack introduced Jalloh and someone in the United States who was actually an informant for the FBI in March 2016.
Jalloh had met the ISIS member and others during a recent six-month trip to Nigeria. Jalloh met twice with the informant and told this person that he’d decided not to re-enlist in the Virginia Army National Guard after hearing lectures from late star al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki.
He also told the informant that he’d frequently thought about conducting an attack in the U.S., according to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement. Jalloh said he was inspired by the July 2015 Chattanooga attack and the November 2009 Fort Hood attack.
Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Paul M. Abbate said Jalloh purchased a weapon following multiple attempts to procure assault rifles and handguns, believing they would be used in an ISIL-directed attack on U.S. soil.”Jalloh bought an assault rifle from a Northern Virginia gun dealer on July 2; even though he test-fired the gun first, it was rendered inoperable before he took it home. He was arrested the next day.
“Jalloh also provided money on multiple occasions to support ISIL after attempting to join the terrorist group,” Abbate said. This included a $500 transfer that Jalloh thought was going to ISIS but went to an undercover FBI employee.
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 attempted to provide material support to ISIL by transferring funds intended for use by ISIL, taking steps to join and assist others in joining ISIL, and attempting to obtain a weapon that he believed would be used in an attack on U.S. soil in the name of ISIL,” said Mary B. McCord, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
“Counterterrorism remains our highest priority and we will continue to hold accountable those who attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”
Jalloh faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on February, 10, 2017, according to DOJ announcement.