Advertisement

American who joined, escaped Islamic State faces sentencing

American who joined, escaped Islamic State faces sentencing
Jamal Khweis, left, identified himself as the father of the only American citizen to be convicted in a U.S. jury trial of successfully joining Islamic State overseas. Mohamad Khweis faces up to 35 years in prison. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

The only American citizen to be convicted in a U.S. jury trial of successfully joining Islamic State overseas is facing a sentence of up to 35 years.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mohamad Khweis of Alexandria, Va., was convicted on terrorism charges this year in federal court in Virginia.

Advertisement

Khweis traveled to Islamic State-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria in December 2015, even obtaining an official membership card. But he found life there distasteful and escaped after a few months.

Prosecutors say Khweis volunteered to be a suicide bomber and deserves a 35-year prison sentence.

Defense lawyers are seeking a five-year prison term at Friday's sentencing hearing. They say Khweis never intended to harm the U.S., and that a harsh sentence would deter other Americans who joined Islamic State from quitting.

Advertisement
Advertisement