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Man From Texas Given 10-Year Sentence for Supporting Terrorism

  • VOA News

FILE - Rahatul Ashikim Khan is seen in an undated photo from the Williamson County Jail in Georgetown, Texas.

FILE - Rahatul Ashikim Khan is seen in an undated photo from the Williamson County Jail in Georgetown, Texas.

A young American from Texas has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 24, a former student at the University of Texas, received the sentence in an Austin court Friday, more than a year after pleading guilty of aiding terrorists overseas.

Prosecutors said Khan used Internet message boards to identify people wanting to help Islamic insurgents fighting in such countries as Syria and Somalia. They said he helped one individual, who was actually an FBI confidential source, gain access to an al-Shabab terrorist pipeline.

Prosecutors also said Khan led a group of individuals in the Austin, Texas, area who pledged loyalty to the now-deceased Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

"Rahatul Khan conspired to provide material support to terrorists by screening and recruiting potential foreign fighters located in the United States to wage violent jihad in various locations overseas, including Somalia," said U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin.

Khan's attorneys argued that he was an impressionable student who was influenced by the wrong people. They said he wanted to help with humanitarian efforts in the Middle East but was led in the wrong direction.

Prosecutors said Khan might have influenced many people through his actions.

Khan expressed remorse for his activities in court Friday.

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