A twenty-one-year-old man from New York City was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release today for lying to federal agents about his intention to fight for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). A resident of the Bronx in New York City, Fabjan Alameti, pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to a federal officer in a matter involving terrorism in August.
"Stopping acts of terrorism is the top priority of the DOJ, and we will prosecute all who would commit them to the full extent of the law," said US Attorney Kurt Alme, announcing the sentence. Stressing on the need to be vigilant about self-reliant extremists, Paul Haertel, Special Agent, FBI Salt Lake City, said thecase "highlights the real threat posed by homegrown violent extremists, people who self-radicalize at home and are prone to attack with little to no warning,"
Fascination with ISIS
According to the documents filed in court, Alameti was part of an FBI terrorism investigation in 2018. After becoming a supporter of the Islamic State, he started watching their videos and posting pro-ISIS messages on Facebook. He had also encountered a confidential FBI source while posting on a pro-ISIS page on social media, believing that the source was an ISIS supporter living in the Middle East. When questioned by the FBI about his interest in ISIS, Alameti denied any support or affiliation to the organization.
In March, he traveled by bus to Bozeman, and agreed to speak with an FBI agent there. During the interview, he denied having spoken about going overseas to join the ISIS or having wanted to harm any soldiers or Americans. This was in direct contradiction to his social media activity seeking out others like himself and expressing his desire to achieve martyrdom while fighting for ISIS.
Alameti also corresponded with others about targeting people and places within the US. The Bronk resident had identified potential targets such as an Army recruitment center, gay night clubs, and a federal building. Finally, Alameti was arrested at a Bozeman shooting range while trying to rent a semi-automatic rifle in April. He was charged with possession of a firearm as an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
Alameti confessed to saying to an individual, "I will attack random people to avenge the blood," and "I'm going to Montana and gonna (sic) buy a gun since all they need is a background check and ID."
Suspected terror activities in prison
During the sentencing, the prosecution submitted evidence which suggested that Alameti may have asked another inmate about procuring weapons while in custody at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby in October.
While conducting a facility-wide search of housing units in November, officers found anti-United States and pro-ISIS messages written on Alameti's cell wall. They also discovered a razor blade concealed within the pages of a book.