- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A U.S. District Judge in Minnesota handed down a 30-year prison sentence to a local man who tried to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria on multiple occasions.

Judge Michael Davis warned his Minneapolis courtroom on Wednesday that a terrorist cell and its many “tentacles” were active in the city. He then sentenced Mohamed Farah, 22, to three decades behind bars. Six other defendants also received sentences earlier in the week ranging from time served and 20 years’ supervised release, to 10 years.

“I have traveled the world trying to figure out what to do with this jihadist behavior,” Judge Davis said, MPR reported Wednesday. “There’s nothing in our criminal justice system that can even come close to try to rehabilitate someone who has extreme jihadist ideology. … Terrorists and their supporters should be incapacitated for a long period of time.”

“This community needs to understand there is a jihadist cell in this community. Its tentacles spread out. Young people went to Syria and died,” the judge continued. “You might want to publicize these are just young kids that are misguided. This court is thankful there was a trial so all the evidence could come out. … The lies you did should be published so there’s no doubt of what’s happening here.”

Farah’s quest to join ISIS, another name for the Islamic State, involved two failed attempts to leave the country, once in November 2014 by taking a bus to New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, and then again in April 2015 when he traveled to San Diego to acquire fake passports. Farah’s friend was working with FBI agents at the time of his arrest.

“The actions I have done are what a terrorist would do, but I feel like I’m not, your honor. I’m not a terrorist,” Farah told the judge during his sentencing.

“You’re not fooling me,” Judge Davis said, MPR reported. “You understand — you and your cell lied, lied and lied, and deceived, deceived and deceived, to go to the Islamic State.”

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