- Mohamad Jamal Khweis was convicted for joining the group in June
- Khweis left the US in 2015, and entered Syria via Turkey to fight for the militants
- The 28-year-old agreed to become a suicide bomber for the group
- Khweis was with the group for about three months until he was captured by Kurdish fighter and returned to US authorities
A man from Virginia has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for joining the Islamic terrorist organization ISIS, the Justice department announced Friday.
Mohamad Jamal Khweis from Alexandria, Virginia was charged with providing material support for the jihadist group and convicted by a federal grand jury in June.
Prosecutors said that Khweis left the United States in 2015 and embedded himself with ISIS militants in Syria for nearly three months.
The 28-year-old managed to get to the war ravaged nation via Turkey, Justice Department officials said.
Khweis was later captured by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters near Tal Afar, Iraq in March of last year and eventually turned over to US authorities, according to Fox News.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that Mohamad Khweis is an unpredictable and dangerous person who was radicalized towards violent jihad,’ U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana J. Boente said in a statement.
The Justice Department said that Khweis communicated with ISIS members through encrypted mobile applications and agreed to become a suicide bomber for the group.
US Attorney Dana J. Boente described Khweis as an ‘unpredictable and dangerous person who was radicalized towards violent jihad.’ (pictured June 11, 2015)
‘Khweis purposefully traveled overseas with the intent to join ISIS in support of the terrorist group’s efforts to conduct operations and execute attacks to further their radical ideology,’ said Andrew Vale, the assistant director in charge at the FBI’s Washington field office.
‘Khweis recognized that ISIS uses violence in its expansion of its caliphate and he committed to serving as a suicide bomber.’
Once arriving in Syria, Khweis was taken to the organization’s defacto capital of Raqqa, where he was made to fill out a questionnaire that asked for his ‘name, age, skills, specialty before jihad, and status as a fighter.’
Kweis graduated from Thomas Edison High School in Alexandria in 2007, where friends described him as well-liked and popular.
‘He wasn’t someone who was an outcast or something like that — he was one of the guys,’ Harrison Weinhold told CBS News in March 2016.