Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, 27, of Sterling, a former member of the Army National Guard, was sentenced Friday to 11 years in federal prison for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Jalloh pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 27.
According to court documents, a now-deceased member of ISIL brokered March 2016 introduction between Jalloh and an individual working as an FBI confidential source. The ISIL member was actively plotting an attack in the United States and believed the attack would be carried out with the assistance of Jalloh and the confidential informant. Jalloh met with the informant twice and said he was a former member of the Virginia Army National Guard, but that he decided not to re-enlist after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Jalloh had recently returned from a six-month trip to Africa where he had met with ISIL members in Nigeria and began communicating online with the ISIL member who later brokered his introduction to the FBI informant. During their meeting, Jalloh said he thought about conducting an attack all the time, and that he was close to doing so at one point. Jalloh claimed to know how to shoot guns and praised the gunman who killed five U.S. military members in a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, TN, in 2015. Jalloh also stated he had been thinking about conducting an attack similar to the 2009 attack at Ft. Hood, TX, which killed 13 people and wounded 32 others, according to the court filings.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, during the May 2016 meeting, Jalloh asked the informant about the timeline for an operation and said 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 also asked the informant to assist him in providing a donation to ISIL. Ultimately, Jalloh provided a prepaid cash transfer of $500 to a contact who Jalloh believed was a member of ISIL, but who was in fact an undercover FBI employee.
Last June, Jalloh traveled to North Carolina and made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a firearm. On July 2, Jalloh went to a gun dealership in Northern Virginia, where he test-fired and purchased an assault rifle. Unbeknownst to Jalloh, the rifle was rendered inoperable before he left the dealership with the weapon.
Jalloh was arrested the next day and the FBI seized the rifle.