A Brooklyn man’s tearful regret for following ISIS failed to sway a judge, who sentenced him Friday to 15 years in federal prison for plotting terrorist acts.
Abdurasul Juraboev, 27, said he rejected extremism and the ISIS snake oil peddlers he once listened to. He wiped away tears as he admitted that what he was following “wasn’t real Islam.”
“I didn’t know my religion correctly,” the Uzbek national said, adding that ISIS fighters and propagandists were “doing many things wrong.”
Judge William Kuntz, unmoved, slammed him with the maximum sentence.
Uzbeki man living in Brooklyn pleads guilty in plot to aid ISIS
In 2014, Juraboev made online threats to kill then-President Barack Obama and said he wanted to fight in Syria, according to Brooklyn federal prosecutors. And if Juraboev couldn’t wreak havoc overseas, he talked of doing it in New York, they said.
Juraboev ended up with an airplane ticket to Turkey, where he’d continue to Syria. But authorities arrested him and others in his ring before any trip could occur.
Juraboev’s attorneys pressed for a term around the five-year mark. They said the young man got a visa in the green card lottery but came to the states without family or friends.
The “lonely, confused” gyro shop worker “gravitated towards his religion but instead of religion, it was propaganda,” defense lawyer Michael Weil said. Juraboev “never intended to do anything in this country,” Weil insisted.
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Months after his arrest, Juraboev pleaded guilty to plotting to give material support to ISIS.
Acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde said the sentence “holds Juraboev to account for his plans to join ISIS and engage in violent jihad overseas or carry out a terrorist attack in the United States if he was unable to travel to Syria.”
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