“Orange County Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Attempting to Aid ISIS,” NBC Los Angeles, October 19, 2016:
An Orange County man convicted of attempting to aid an Islamic terrorist group was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison. Muhanad Elfatih M.A. Badawi received the same punishment his co- defendant, Nader Salem Elhuzayel, was given last month. Both were convicted June 21.
“Badawi was a radicalizer, recruiter, and facilitator, and like co-defendant Elhuzayel, defendant Badawi aspired to die a martyr fighting jihad for ISIL,” prosecutors argued in their pre-sentencing brief, using one of the acronyms for the group also known as ISIS.
“Despite the attempts of others to dissuade him, defendant Badawi continued to promote the ISIL ideology and gather fighters for ISIL. In short, defendant Badawi’s role as a radicalizer, recruiter, and facilitator makes him more dangerous than any single would-be fighter.”
Elhuzayel was the first defendant convicted at trial to be sentenced in a so-called ISIL “travel case,” U.S. District Judge David O. Carter noted as he handed down his punishment last month. Elhuzayel was also convicted of 26 counts of bank fraud.
Prosecutors characterized both defendants as obsessively praising Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria on social media as they shared photos of beheadings of “unbelievers.”
Badawi’s attorney, Kate Corrigan, conceded that her client engaged in a great deal of “un-American” and at times “repulsive” speech, but said Badawi “was a lot of talk and absolutely no action.” She claimed her client was duped by a dishonest Elhuzayel about what he intended to do with money Badawi loaned him.
Elhuzayel’s attorney, meanwhile, argued that his client should be acquitted on the legal technicality that the United States did not recognize the Islamic State as a terrorist organization at the time of the defendant’s arrest….