A Virginia man was arrested over the holiday weekend for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, 26, of Sterling and a former member of the Army National Guard, is expected to make his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Alexandria Tuesday, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Former Army National Guard Member Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL https://t.co/sjYtMLm3Zg— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) July 5, 2016
Jalloh was arrested Sunday for attempting to provide material support the Islamic State terror group.
“In March 2016, a now-deceased member of ISIL brokered an introduction between Jalloh and an individual in the United States who actually was an FBI confidential human source (CHS),” the statement read, citing court documents and proceedings. “The ISIL member was actively plotting an attack in the United States and believed the attack would be carried out with the assistance of Jalloh and the CHS.”
The statement noted that Jalloh and the undercover agent met twice — once in April and once in May.
“During the April meeting, Jalloh told the CHS that he was a former member of the Virginia Army National Guard, but that he had decided to quit after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Aulaqi, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” the statement continued. “Jalloh stated that he recently had taken a six-month trip to Africa, where he had met with ISIL members in Nigeria and first began communicating online with the ISIL member who later brokered his introduction to the CHS.”
Jalloh, a native of Sierra Leone who obtained U.S. citizenship, began his service with the Virginia National Guard April 30, 2009. He held the rank of specialist in the 276th Engineer Battalion, 91st Troop Command as a combat engineer. He was honorably discharged from the National Guard in April 2015.
According to the DOJ, Jalloh told the FBI source that he often thought about conducting a terror attack and that he knew how to shoot guns.
“Jalloh praised the gunman who killed five U.S. military members in a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July 2015, and stated that he had been thinking about conducting an attack similar to the November 2009 attack at Ft. Hood, Texas,” the statement said.
In May, Jalloh told the undercover operative that he wanted to plan an attack during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began June 5 and ended July 5.
According to the report released Tuesday, Jalloh traveled to North Carolina in June where he made a failed attempt to buy guns.
On Sunday, he managed to purchase and test-shoot a Stag Arms assault rifle at a northern Virginia gun dealership, the Department of Justice reported.
“Unbeknownst to Jalloh, the rifle was rendered inoperable before he left the dealership with the weapon. Jalloh was arrested the following day and the FBI seized the rifle,” a department spokesman said.
If convicted, Jalloh will face 20 years in prison.