A federal judge sentenced 32-year-old Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh to 45 years in prison for engaging in terrorist conduct and conspiring to carry out terrorist acts.
Farekh, an American citizen who ascended to al-Qaeda leadership, faced a trial conviction in September of last year. The Justice Department claimed on Tuesday that the trial proved Farekh and his co-conspirators traveled to fight United States forces in the Middle East.
Farekh, DOJ said, helped build an explosive device used in an attack on a U.S. military installation in Afghanistan.
“Farekh, a citizen of this country,“ U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said, ”turned his back on America by joining al-Qaeda and trying to kill American soldiers in a bomb attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan."
“This case demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to ensure that those who seek to harm our country and our armed forces will be brought to justice,” Donoghue added.
Tuesday's was just the latest case involving an American citizen or resident that the Justice Department accused of supporting terrorist efforts.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers committed to pursuing people like Farekh.
“Across the globe, the National Security Division will continue to relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those who seek to harm Americans, including our brave servicemen and women who risk their lives in defense of our nation," he said.
President Donald Trump's administration has committed to fighting foreign terrorist organizations and touted, in particular, its success in fighting ISIS.
The U.S. Central Command said on Tuesday that the U.S. made significant progress in the Middle East and that ISIS's “destruction” was within the U.S. military's grasp.