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US Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Part in Fake Islamic State Plot

FILE - An Islamic State flag hangs amid electric wires over a street in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, near the port city of Sidon, southern Lebanon, Jan. 19, 2016.

A U.S. federal court has sentenced a man from the Midwestern state of Missouri to nearly 20 years in prison for participating in what he thought were preparations for a terror attack with members of the Islamic State group.

Robert Lorenzo Hester pleaded guilty in September to charges of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group.

The Justice Department said Hester discussed a potential attack involving bombs and guns with an undercover FBI employee who was pretending to be an Islamic State member.

Prosecutors said he went as far as purchasing supplies he was told would be used to make a bomb.

Authorities began investigating Hester after tips from multiple confidential sources about his social media activity and posts the Justice Department says showed ill will toward the United States and included photos of weapons and the Islamic State flag.