Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A CHICAGO man has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for plotting to travel to Somalia to take up arms with the al-Qaeda linked militant jihadi group the Shebab.
Shaker Masri, 29, pleaded guilty in July to plotting to provide material support to a designated terrorist group.
He is one of dozens of US citizens arrested in recent years for trying to participate in or support the two-decade long civil war.
Masri was born in Alabama and lived in Chicago's upscale Gold Coast neighbourhood prior to his 2010 arrest, which took place just hours before he was scheduled to travel to Somalia.
He admitted to plotting for months to raise the funds he needed to engage in jihad in either Somalia or Afghanistan and told an FBI informant that he wanted to volunteer for a suicide mission.
"Shaker Masri wanted to take the lives of human beings - including his own - to wreak havoc and advance a terrorist agenda," Gary Shapiro, acting US attorney for the northern district of Illinois, said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Through the hard work and dedication of a team of federal agents and prosecutors, he was stopped, and today's sentence ensures that those who would lend support to terrorist organisations will be punished."