WASHINGTON, March 18, (Agencies): A New York state resident was sentenced on Thursday to 22-1/2 years in prison for trying to recruit fi ghters to join Islamic State in Syria — the longest prison term handed out yet to an American convicted of supporting the militant group. Mufi d Elfgeeh, 32, of Rochester, was sentenced by US District Judge Elizabeth Wolford of the Western District of New York.
The district’s US attorney, William Hochul, called Elfgeeh “one of the fi rst ISIL recruiters ever captured,” using another acronym for the militant group. A North Carolina federal judge last May issued the second-longest sentence for Islamic State-related activity — 20 years and three months in prison — to Donald Ray Morgan, 44, for trying to provide material support to Islamic State, and for unlawfully possessing a fi rearm. A Reuters analysis, confi rmed by the US Department of Justice, found they were the two stiffest such sentences yet issued.
Convictions for Islamic State-related activity by Americans have become more frequent in recent months as more than 80 such cases brought by US prosecutors since 2013 work their way through federal courts. An Arizona man was convicted by a jury on Thursday of conspiring to support Islamic State and other terrorismrelated charges, while two men in unrelated cases in Mississippi and Ohio pleaded guilty on Friday and Wednesday to trying to join or convince others to join Islamic State.
They have not yet been sentenced. Although Elfgeeh pleaded guilty in December only to trying to recruit two individuals to join Islamic State, he was also originally charged with trying to kill US service members and unlawfully possessing fi rearms and silencers.