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Ohio man pleads guilty in Islamic State training case

November 1, 2021 GMT

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to a terrorism offense related to an attempt to fly overseas to train with an Islamic State-affiliated group.

The government accused Naser Almadaoji, an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen, of arranging with an Islamic State supporter in 2018 to move through Kazakhstan to Afghanistan, where he intended to train with a group called ISIS Wilayat Khorasan. The supporter was actually an FBI informant, and federal agents arrested Almadaoji on Oct. 24, 2018, at the Columbus airport before he departed.

Almadaoji said he hoped to to set off a car bomb at a federal building, but needed training first, according to a document unsealed Monday.

Almadaoji pleaded not guilty in 2018 to a federal charge of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

Almadaoji pleaded guilty Friday before federal Judge Walter Rice to the same charge, which carries a possible punishment of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing was set for Jan. 31. A message was left with Almadaoji’s attorney seeking comment.