Man gets 3 years for lying about Islamic State group contact

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ST. PAUL β€” A Minnesota man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for lying to the FBI about his social media exchanges with Islamic State group recruiters.

Twenty-three-year-old Abdul Raheem Ali-Skelton, of Glencoe, pleaded guilty in April to lying about his communications with the group.

Prosecutors argued Tuesday for a five-year sentence. Minnesota Public Radio reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kovats said Ali-Skelton maintained secret contact with β€œthe worst of the worst of terrorist organizations.”

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Ali-Skelton apologized and distanced himself from IS ideology, saying he never supported terrorism. His attorney cited mental health issues, saying communicating with the group made Ali-Skelton feel important.

The case was separate from a terrorism conspiracy case that ended in the sentencing of nine young Minnesota men in November.