A California man convicted of attempting to help a friend travel to the Middle East to fight on behalf of Islamic State was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Monday, federal prosecutors said.
Muhanad Badawi, 25, was found guilty of providing “material support” to the militant group in the form of his recruit, Nader Elhuzayel, who was found guilty of conspiring and attempting to join a terrorist organization. In September, Elhuzayel was also sentenced to 30 years in prison.
“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 Decker said on Wednesday.
In arguing for the 30-year sentence plus a lifetime of supervised release, U.S. prosecutors said Badawi was “a radicalizer, recruiter, and facilitator” for Islamic State who aspired to die a martyr fighting for ISIS.
Prosecutors argued that Badawi deserved the same sentence as Elhuzayel.
“Their crimes are equally serious, their prospects for rehabilitation are equally bleak, and the need to protect the public from their future crimes and crimes by others like them is the same,” they wrote in a memorandum to the U.S. district court in Santa Ana, California earlier this month.
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Image courtesy of U.S. ATTORNEY