A former National Guardsman in Virginia has been charged with plotting to carry out a terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the name of the Islamic State.
Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Sierra Leone, was arrested on Sunday, July 3 and the charges were announced on Tuesday.
According to federal prosecutors, Jalloh made contact with Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) operatives in Nigeria during a six-month trip there last year. At the time, he allegedly considered travelling to Libya to fight for ISIS there.
Back in the U.S., he made contact with ISIS again. On April 9, he had a face-to-face meeting with an unnamed “ISIS member” who was a government informant for the FBI. In that meeting, Jalloh is alleged to have praised Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the terrorist who carried out the attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee last year which killed five U.S. servicemen.
He also is said to have told the informant that he wanted to carry out an attack similar to that of Major Nidal Hassan, who murdered 13 people at the Fort Hood army base in Texas in 2009.
Jalloh quit the National Guard after listening to online lectures by Al-Qaeda operative and jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. According to an affidavit, Jalloh was persuaded by them to begin plotting terrorist activity.
He was arrested on Sunday after he purchased a rifle the previous day from a gun shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. Following instructions from the FBI, the shop had disabled the gun before selling it to Jalloh.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He was ordered jailed without bond.