American who joined, escaped Islamic State gets 20 years
Mohamad Khweis, 27 (Source: Fairfax County Police Department)
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The only American citizen to be convicted in a U.S. jury trial of successfully joining the Islamic State overseas has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Twenty-seven-year-old Mohamad Khweis of Alexandria, Virginia, was sentenced Friday in federal court in Virginia after being convicted on terrorism charges earlier this year.
Khweis traveled to Islamic State-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria in December 2015, even obtaining an official membership card. But he found life there distasteful and escaped after a few months.
The 20-year sentence was halfway between the 35-year sentence sought by prosecutors and the five-year term requested the defense. Khweis' lawyers argued that a harsh sentence would deter other Americans who joined the Islamic State from quitting.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thursday, June 8 2017 2:45 PM EDT2017-06-08 18:45:31 GMT
Authorities are identifying a Virginia woman who died after being struck by a windblown beach umbrella in Virginia Beach. Police identified the woman in a statement Thursday morning as 55-year-old Lottie Michelle...More >>
Newly sworn-in CIA Director Gina Haspel says she wants to send more officers into the field, improve foreign language proficiency among the ranks and strengthen the agency's working relationships with intelligence...More >>