A 25-year-old Ohio man pleaded guilty to allegations he was involved in a terrorist plot in 2015, according to newly unsealed legal documents.
Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud was charged by a federal grand jury with providing material support to terrorists, providing support to a designated terrorist organization, and of lying to the FBI about international terrorism. His guilty plea was sealed until Thursday because of an open investigation.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Dana J. Boente said Thursday, "Mohamud admitted to traveling overseas, providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and receiving training from terrorists. He also admitted to returning to the United States and planning to conduct an attack on American soil. He will now be held accountable for his crimes."
Mohamud was born in Somalia and came to the United States when he was two years old. According to court records, his brother was fighting in Syria by 2013, and Mohamud provided material support to him from the United States.
Mohamud became a naturalized citizen in 2014, promptly submitting an application for a passport, and buying a one-way ticket for Athens, Greece, with a layover in Istanbul, Turkey. When he landed in Istanbul, instead of flying on to Athens, he travelled to Syria and joined the al-Nusrah Front, with the help of his brother.
In Syria, he trained with weapons and engaged in combat. Court documents indicated that he "expressed a desire to die fighting in Syria."
Instead, he was instructed by al-Nusrah to return to the United States and commit an act of terror. He recruited several U.S.-based people to help him carry out "something big," before being questioned by the FBI.
Boente said, "We will remain vigilant in our efforts to identify, disrupt, and bring to justice those who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations and seek to conduct attacks on our homeland."