ShareThis Page
Ohio man accused of plotting US attacks asks for leniency |

Ohio man accused of plotting US attacks asks for leniency

The Associated Press
| Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:21 a.m
In this Feb. 25, 2015, file photo, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, front left, speaks with his attorney Sam Shamansky, right, during a hearing to set bond in Columbus, Ohio. Mohamud pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in 2015 and is asking for leniency at his scheduled sentencing Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, saying he abandoned his plan to kill military members in the U.S., Shamansky said in a Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, court filing.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man charged with plotting to kill military members in the U.S. after receiving overseas training is asking for leniency at sentencing, saying he abandoned his plans for the attack.

In making his argument, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud acknowledges that he became radicalized after traveling to Syria in the spring of 2014 and that he recruited others on his return home, according to a court filing this week.

Back in the U.S., Mohamud “realized the immoral and illegal nature of terrorist ideology,” his attorney, Sam Shamansky, said in the Monday court filing.

“He rejected the radical notions he had previously embraced and had completely abandoned any plans to engage in terrorism by the end of November of 2014,” the filing said. As a result, a lengthy prison term isn’t necessary, Shamansky argues.

“Mohamud urges the Court to consider his rejection of terrorist ideology as it fashions a sentence that promotes respect for the law,” Shamansky said.

Court documents unsealed earlier this summer show Mohamud, 25, pleaded guilty almost two years ago to terrorism charges. The government hasn’t explained why the plea deal was sealed for so long.

Federal prosecutors want a judge to impose a 23-year sentence. They say Mohamud tried to cover up dangerous terrorist activity, including after his arrest. Sentencing is set for Friday.

Recorded jail telephone calls between Mohamud and a person close to him reveal he told others “to keep their mouths shut,” assistant federal prosecutor Doug Squires said in a court filing.

“Mohamud characterized the situation as a ‘domino effect, and if one falls, everyone falls,’” Squires said in the Monday filing.

After becoming radicalized in Syria, Mohamud returned home planning “grievous harm” for which he recruited others, Squires said.

“Once caught, he orchestrated a cover-up beginning with his material misstatements to the FBI,” he said.

Court documents say that in 2014, Mohamud obtained a passport to travel to Greece but instead went to Syria for training and expressed a desire to die fighting there.

He returned to the U.S. after his brother was killed while fighting for a terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qaida, the documents said.

Mohamud wanted to travel to Texas and capture three or four soldiers and execute them, according to the government.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.