Afghan American jailed for 25 years
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): A US court in California on Monday sentenced an Afghan American and a Philippine citizen to 25 years of imprisonment on charges of plotting to kill US citizens in Afghanistan.
Sohiel Omar Kabir, 37, is a naturalized US citizen who was born in Afghanistan. Until late 2011 he resided in Pomona, California. Ralph Deleon, 26, of Ontario, California is a lawful permanent resident and citizen of the Philippines.
Last summer, Kabir and Deleon were convicted by a federal jury for their role in a plot to travel overseas to fight against US and allied forces in Afghanistan.
The jury convicted Kabir and Deleon of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder United States military and government personnel.
The jury also found Kabir guilty of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, namely Al-Qaeda, and conspiring to receive military-type training from Al-Qaeda. In addition, the jury convicted defendant Deleon of conspiring to murder, maim, or kidnap overseas.
Two other defendants who were indicted in the case in 2012 – Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales and Arifeen David Gojali – previously pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 16.
The evidence presented during last year’s trial showed Kabir introduced Deleon and Santana to radical Islamic ideology in 2010. Kabir left the United States in the final days of 2011, arriving in Afghanistan in July 2012. While in Afghanistan, Kabir continued to communicate with Deleon and others, encouraging them to join him in Afghanistan.
Kabir told the group that he had contacts with terrorist organizations and that, when they arrived, he and the group would join “the Students” – referring to the Taliban – and later “the Professors” – referring to Al-Qaeda.
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