Indian-American Sentenced To Prison Over ISIS Links

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Washington: An Indian American man who tried to go to Syria with his teenaged brother and sister to join the ISIS terror organisation has been sentenced in Chicago to 40 months in prison.

Mohammed Hazra Khan, 21, became on Friday the first person of Indian origin to be convicted and sentenced in the US for ISIS connections.

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The sentencing hits the news just after the victory of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who had called for intensive investigation of Muslim immigrants and, controversially, suggesting that if necessary their immigration should be stopped temporarily till a mechanism for heightened scrutiny was in place.

Federal Judge John J Tharp sentenced Khan, who had admitted in court last year to the charges of providing support to the ISIS and trying to go abroad to join it, Mary B McCord, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said in a statement.

The judge in the Northern Illinois federal court also ordered that for 20 years after his release, Khan should undergo intensive supervision that includes “violent extremism counselling” and a mental health treatment programme, she added.

Khan was arrested by anti-terrorism officers two years ago while trying to leave the US from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, she said. He was 19 years old at the time of his arrest. Khan’s brother, who was 16 years old in 2014, and sister, who was 17, were also stopped at the airport but did not face any charges and were let go after officials questioned them.

Khan is an American citizen born in New York. But his family had immigrated from India and lived in the Chicago area.

Last year, his mother had publicly asked ISIS leaders to “leave our children alone” and asserted: “The venom spewed by these groups and the violence committed by them find no support in the Quran and are completely at odds with our Islamic faith.”

Durkin told the judge that Khan did not intend to wage war against the US but was naive and only wanted to join an Islamic caliphate and live according to Muslim doctrine, according to the Tribune. According to prosecutors, Khan helped with investigations against an ISIS terrorist and recruiters and had also offered to testify against a British ISIS recruiter, Mizanur Rahman.

 

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