SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — One of two Anaheim men convicted of trying to help the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
United States District Judge David O. Carter imposed the sentence on Nader Elhuzayel, 25, who was convicted in June for conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the terrorist organization and committing 26 counts of bank fraud.
“There’s no remorse, no repudiation of ISIL, only death and destruction,” Carter said the fact that the defendant made repeated calls for martyrdom “makes [him] especially dangerous.”
“Today’s sentence reflects the gravity of the defendant’s plan to betray his country and join a terrorist organization dedicated to the murder of innocent individuals,” said Eileen M. Decker, United States Attorney of the Central District of California.
Co-defendant Muhanad Badawi was also found guilty in June of one count of financial fraud.
Federal prosecutors said “Elhuzayel and Badawi used social media to discuss ISIL and terrorist attacks, expressed a desire to die as martyrs, and made arrangements for Elhuzayel to leave the United States to join ISIL.”
On May 21, 2015, Elhuzayel and Badawi were arrested as Elhuzayel tried to board a plane at Los Angeles International Airport to fly to Turkey to join ISIL.
Badawi had bought a one-way ticket on Turkish Airlines for Elhuzayel to travel to Israel with a layover in Istanbul, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office said.
According to the FBI, Elhuzayel admitted he intended to fly into Turkey and seek contacts to facilitate joining ISIS.