An unrepentant Islamist terrorist in Minnesota received a sentence of 15 years in prison, meaning he could be paroled in eight to 10 years.
Mahad Abdiaziz Adbiraham, 20, stabbed two brothers — Alexander Sanchez, 19, and John Sanchez, 25 – – in a dressing room at Macy’s in the Mall of America near Minneapolis on November 12, 2017.
Last month, Adbiraham pleaded guilty to the charges against him. His attorney read a statement to the court in which Adbiraham claimed responsibility for the attack, saying he did it in the name of the Islamic State terrorist group.
In the statement, he was “reaffirming” that the stabbings were “indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah.”
Abdiraham also said that Americans will not be safe while “your country is at war with Islam.” He made no further statement at the sentencing hearing last week.
At the end of the sentencing hearing, Abdiraham raised his right index finger, a known gesture of Islamic State supporters.
The sentence was based on the fact that the prosecution did not bring terrorism charges against Abdiraham, even though he confessed that was his motive.
“Terrorism charges are hard to prove, and the police presented it to us,” said County Attorney Mike Freeman. “We saw it was a serious crime. We often talk to the feds on whether we should keep the case or send it there. Our discussion here is we felt we had a very strong case, we felt because of the seriousness of the injuries, we could get a significant sentence, and we did.”
Alex Sanchez– who does not have full function of his left arm or cheek — sent a statement which read, “I could not bring myself to be present. This ordeal has changed my whole life. I wake up every day and look at my face and relive the ordeal over and over and over again. It will never end for me or my family members. The scars on my face and my upper torso are so visible and people stare at me.”
His brother John, who also said it would be too hard to be present at the hearing, lost full motion in his thumb and has not been able to return to his job in construction. Both brothers are still recovering from their injuries.
In 60 days, the court will rule on the amount of restitution Abdiraham will have to pay the brothers.