An Ohio man was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to planning attacks in support of the Islamic State group against a police station and a member of the U.S. military.
Munir Abdulkader, 22, was sentenced in Cincinnati by U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett. After completing his time in prison, the West Chester Township man faces lifetime probation.
"Using social media to communicate with the now-deceased Syria-based ISIL terrorist Junaid Hussain, Abdulkader coordinated and planned violent murders of military members and police officers. … Identifying and stopping such ISIL-directed and -inspired plots is and will remain one of our highest priorities," Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord said.
Prosecutors asked for a 25-year prison sentence. Defense attorneys, however, argued that similar cases received sentences of 15 years or less.
"Abdulkader's plan was to murder a specific employee of a military base at the employee's home. He planned to videotape the murder so that it could be used in an ISIL propaganda video to further ISIL's cause. Following the murder, Abdulkader would then launch a violent attack on a police station in the Cincinnati area," a Department of Justice statement said.
Officials said Abdulkader surveilled a police station, learned how to operate firearms, practiced shooting and received a targeting package about the victim. He also bought an AK-47 assault rifle for the attack.
Through communications with Hussain, Abdulkader was directed and encouraged to execute a plan to kill an identified military employee.
"The plan included abducting the employee at the employee's home and filming the execution. After killing the employee, Abdulkader planned to perpetrate a violent attack on a police station in the Southern District of Ohio using firearms and Molotov cocktails," court documents said.
Besides attempting to kill police officers and the military employee, court documents say, Abdulkader conspired to provide supporting material to a foreign terrorist organization.
He also pleaded guilty to a firearms count involving pursuit of a crime of violence.
After hearing the verdict, Abdulkader apologized to the court. Abdulkader was arrested in May 2015.