A 46-year-old international terrorist, who was convicted of carrying out additional terrorist activity while being an inmate of the US Bureau of Prisons, was sentenced today to 300 months imprisonment in federal prison in the Eastern District of Texas.
Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, an Eretria-born Ethiopian national, was found guilty in December 2019 for attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), by a jury. He was also found guilty of making false statements to the FBI.
"While in prison for a prior terrorism conviction, Ahmed continued to engage in terrorist activity by recruiting fellow inmates to join ISIS and training them in preparation for future attacks," said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, in a statement.
Recruiting Supporters For ISIS
According to evidence presented in the court, Ahmed was convicted in 2013 by the Southern District of New York for conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and also receiving military-type training from it. He had participated in a training camp held in Afghanistan in 1996. He was also found to be a member of the Brandbergen Mosque network, which was known for providing logistic and financial support to other terrorist organizations. Ahmed was sentenced to 111 months in federal prison and was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Beaumont, Texas, in order to serve his sentence.
However, Ahmed continued to carry out terrorist activities even while serving his sentence at FCI-Beaumont. "This terrorist's original prison sentence did not diminish his support of ISIS or its ugly ideology," said US Attorney Stephen J. Cox. Ahmed is believed to have recruited at least five inmates to join ISIS and partake in acts of terrorism following their release from federal custody. He told these inmates that he was associated with ISIS and supported al Shabaab and al Qaeda.
It is also said that he 'celebrated' the bombing of Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester, England, and other reported acts of terror on the news. He wanted the recruited inmates to either travel overseas and join ISIS, or form 'sleeper cells' within the US.
Plotting Acts of Terrorism
It was also discovered that Ahmed had provided these potential recruits with a training manual that illustrated how violent jihad could be carried out. It included subjects such as "how to carry out guerilla war," "how to carry out assassinations," and "selection of human targets." To top it all, he used the prison yard to conduct physical training exercises along with other inmates to help them reach fitness levels necessary to carry out the plotted terror acts.
He also explored with fellow inmates a plot to bomb the Federal Detention Center in New York City as an act of revenge for his sentencing there. "Fortunately, his efforts to radicalize and train others to commit acts of violence against civilians were thwarted by the quick actions of our law enforcement partners," added Cox.