Crime & Justice

Anaheim man sentenced to 30 years for trying to aid Islamic State

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An Anaheim man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for conspiring with another man to aid the Islamic State group, according to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office. The man was a former California college student, according to the Associated Press.

Muhanad Badawi, 25, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Santa Ana. Judge David Carter called Badawi "extraordinarily dangerous," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office press release.

"The lengthy sentence imposed today results from the defendant’s acceptance of ISIL’s murderous ideology and his participation in a scheme designed to betray the United States," United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in the press release. "Prosecutions such as this are critically important to our national security."

Badawi was convicted earlier this year of conspiracy with Nader Elhuzayel, also 25 and from Anaheim, to aid a foreign terrorist organization and other crimes.

Authorities say Badawi and Elhuzayel concocted a scheme for Elhuzayel to fly to the Middle East to fight for the Islamic State. They say Badawi purchased Elhuzayel's one-way plane ticket on Turkish Airlines to travel to Israel, with a layover in Istanbul. Elhuzayel told the FBI that he intended to deplane there and seek contacts to help him join the Islamic State.

Authorities said the men shared their support for the Islamic State in conversation and on social media, expressing wishes to die as martyrs.

"Defendant Badawi was a radicalizer, recruiter and facilitator, and like codefendant Elhuzauyel, defendant Badawi aspired to die a martyr fighting jihad for ISIL," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum, according to the press release.

Trial exhibits showed that Badawi made a video of Elhuzayel swearing allegiance to the leader of ISIS and pledging to ravel to join the group, according to the press release.

Badawi and Elhuzayel were arrested on May 21, 2015 as Elhuzayel attempted to board a plane at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the release.

While in custody, Badawi stopped eating and dropped from 140 to 109 pounds before a judge ordered him force-fed last December, according to the AP.