A radical, militant husband and wife in New York have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to a combined 20 years in prison for providing material support to Islamic State terrorists after falling for an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a terrorism sympathizer.
Prosecutors assert that the husband, who is from New York, told the undercover cop that he wanted to carry out a terror attack in the United States. He was considering hitting the U.S. Military Academy at West Point or a university in New York State where he frequently saw Reserve Officer Training Corps or ROTC cadets, according to Fox News.
The husband is James Bradley, 21, aka Abdullah, of the Bronx. He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars on Thursday in a Manhattan federal court. His wife, Arwa Muthana, 30, comes from Hoover, Alabama. She was sentenced on Friday to nine years in prison by Judge Paul A. Engelmayer.
Both pleaded guilty last September. They freely admitted they were Islamic State supporters who sought to travel to the Middle East to fight for the terrorist organization. They were married in an Islamic marriage ceremony in January 2021, according to authorities.
The radicalized couple was arrested on the gangplank at Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey on March 31, 2021. Authorities believe they were planning on boarding a cargo ship that an undercover officer had told them was heading to Yemen.
NEW YORK: A Bronx couple who expressed interest in fighting for ISIS were arrested at a NJ port as they attempted to board a cargo ship that would of taken them to Yemen. They were ordered held without bail.
— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) April 5, 2021
The husband wanted to travel to Yemen via the cargo ship because he believed he was on a terrorist watch list, according to prosecutors.
The couple kept themselves busy before they were busted for distributing extremist online content, including images of ISIS fighters, Osama bin Laden and terrorist attacks.
According to the Department of Justice:
“Bradley also distributed to UC-1 videos of ISIS fighters, a 2020 stabbing attack against a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer, and extremists shooting a uniformed soldier. Content on Muthana’s cellphone, which was searched pursuant to a court-authorized search warrant, included images of an ISIS flag with Arabic writing, ISIS propaganda, firearms, quotations of the deceased former al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula member Anwar al-Awlaki, and a video showing an individual in prisoner garb being chained and then burned alive.”
Muthana informed investigators that she was more than willing to fight and kill Americans for God, according to prosecutors.
Developing: US arrests husband & wife who tried escaping the country by cargo ship to join #ISIS
Per @TheJusticeDept, 20yo James Bradley of the #Bronx #NewYork & 29yo Arwa Muthana of #Hoover #Alabama were arrested at a seaport in #Newark #NewJersey Wednesday pic.twitter.com/lWlLA1p2D7
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) April 1, 2021
Her attorneys threw the sympathy card, claiming that she should only get time served because she was a woman with “no passport, little money, and no real plan.” They claimed her actions were the result of an “abused and traumatized young woman who was trying to get as far away from home as possible.” The judge was not moved and threw the book at her.
Bradley’s attorneys also wanted a sentence of time served. That didn’t fly either.
But prosecutors didn’t get the sentence they wanted. They asked the judge to sentence each of them to at least 15 years in prison, claiming it was necessary “to deter and prevent the defendants from resuming their activities in support of radical Islamic terrorist ideology, and to deter others who, like the defendants, seek to join and serve brutal terrorist organizations.”
The U.S. Probation Office recommended each serve six years in prison. The office cited Bradley’s age, his family support, and his engagement in deradicalization counseling. That request failed as well.
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