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Arizona man pleads guilty to planning terrorist attacks

The 18-year-old was planning a lone attack, considering a Jewish Community Center, Air Force recruitment center and DMV as potential targets.

By
Stephen Feller
An undated handout picture made available by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), Arizona, on July 3, 2016, shows 18-year-old Tucson man Mahin Khan. According to media reports, Khan was arrested at his home in Tucson by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Arizona Attorney General's Office on July 1, 2016, on charges of threatening to carry out acts of terrorism against government buildings in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Photo courtesy Maricopa County Sheriff's Office/epa
An undated handout picture made available by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), Arizona, on July 3, 2016, shows 18-year-old Tucson man Mahin Khan. According to media reports, Khan was arrested at his home in Tucson by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Arizona Attorney General's Office on July 1, 2016, on charges of threatening to carry out acts of terrorism against government buildings in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Photo courtesy Maricopa County Sheriff's Office/epa

PHOENIX, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- An Arizona man pleaded guilty to planning lone terror attacks in the Tucson area, the Arizona Attorney General's office announced Monday.

Mahin Atif Khan pleaded guilty on charges of inciting or inducing terrorism, financing or managing terrorism and manufacturng, possessing or selling a prohibited weapon, which may send him to jail for up to 14 years.

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Khan, 18, who the government said has pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, was accused of writing e-mails to an alleged member of the Pakistan Taliban, looking for help to build explosives and plan their use.

Rather than militants overseas, Khan was actually talking to FBI agents for several months while planning a "lone jihad attack," telling the agents he'd been considering a Jewish Community Center and Air Force recruitment Center in Tucson and the Motor Vehicle Division office in Mesa as potential targets.

The terrorism charges carry a sentence of at least five years, but no more than 10.25 years, and at least two more years will be added to Khan's sentence for the weapons misconduct charge. After he is released from prison, Khan will have to surrender his passport and will be placed on probation limiting him to Maricopa and Pima counties in Arizona and restricting his access to the Internet.

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Khan will be sentenced on November 4.

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