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Former National Guardsman Pleads Guilty in ISIS Attack Plot

A former Army National Guardsman arrested in July on charges of assisting an ISIS plot to attack the United States pleaded guilty last week to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

After Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, 27, of Sterling, Va., was taken into custody, his siblings accused the FBI of setting up the naturalized citizen from Sierra Leone.

“He is just another Mohamed that got set up,” his brother, Chernor Jalloh, told The Intercept in July. “He sympathizes with the oppressed abroad. … The FBI used his love for those being oppressed against him by inciting him in all manners that they deemed fit.”

Court documents said a member of ISIS who is now dead and was plotting an attack here introduced Jalloh and someone in the United States who was an informant for the FBI in March 2016. Jalloh had met the ISIS member and others during a six-month trip to Nigeria. Jalloh met twice with the informant and told this person that he'd decided not to re-enlist in the Virginia Army National Guard after hearing lectures from late star al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki; he also told the informant that he'd frequently thought about conducting an attack in the U.S., according to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement.

Jalloh said he was inspired by the July 2015 Chattanooga attack and the November 2009 Fort Hood attack.

Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Paul M. Abbate said Jalloh "purchased a weapon following multiple attempts to procure assault rifles and handguns, believing they would be used in an ISIL-directed attack on U.S. soil."

Jalloh bought an assault rifle from a Northern Virginia gun dealer on July 2; even though he test-fired the gun first, it was rendered inoperable before he took it home. He was arrested the next day.

“Jalloh also provided money on multiple occasions to support ISIL after attempting to join the terrorist group," Abbate said. This included a $500 transfer that Jalloh thought was going to ISIS but went to an undercover FBI employee.

Jalloh faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced in February.

Also last week, an Indiana man pleaded guilty to distributing information regarding the manufacture and use of explosives in a plot to attack the United States.

Marlonn Hicks, 30, of Crown Point, Ind., reportedly communicated with FBI informants online about his desire to travel to the Islamic State and how he was inspired after the Orlando attack to commit a suicide mission on home soil. Hicks sent one of the informants detailed instructions on how to make explosives, according to court documents.

Hicks faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The Post-Tribune reported that Hicks had one conviction for misdemeanor conversion in October 2007 in Lake County.