Chicago jihadist gets 10 years

Dec. 11, 2012 at 7:15 PM
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CHICAGO, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- An Islamic jihadist from Chicago who intended to go to Somalia and volunteer as a suicide bomber was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 10 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman sent Shaker Masri to prison for 118 months, the U.S. attorney's office said in a release posted on its website. He also will serve 20 years of supervised release after his release from prison.

He must complete 85 percent of his prison term before he can become eligible for parole.

Masri, 29, pleaded guilty in July to attempting to provide material support to al-Shabaab, which the U.S. government has designated a foreign terrorist organization. Masri, a native American citizen of Syrian descent, has been in custody since being taken into custody while preparing to leave the country in August 2010.

"Shaker Masri wanted to take the lives of human beings -- including his own -- to wreak havoc and advance a terrorist agenda," acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro said. "Through the hard work and dedication of a team of federal agents and prosecutors, he was stopped, and today's sentence ensures that those who would lend support to terrorist organizations will be punished."

Federal authorities say Masri told an associate, who was secretly cooperating with law enforcement, that he intended to travel abroad to engage in violent jihad and volunteer for a suicide mission.

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