A Houston man who pleaded guilty to providing support to the terrorist group Islamic State is reportedly scheduled to be sentenced this week.
Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, 25, pleaded guilty in October 2016 to plotting to use homemade explosive devices in terrorist attacks on Houston shopping malls; prosecutors say he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Al Hadran reportedly admitted to stockpiling electronic components, wireless remote controls and soldering equipment to make detonators for homemade bombs.
According to testimony from a federal investigator, he also swore his allegiance to the Islamic State and trained in how to use an AK-47 automatic weapon at a farm near Houston.
Al Hadran is known to be a native of Iraq, born in the country, later moving to Palestine and coming to the U.S. in 2009.
Investigators say he attained legal permanent resident status in 2011; however, in April 2014, federal investigators said they intercepted communications between Al Hadran and other suspected terrorists.
When agents recently raided his Houston-area home, they said they found bomb components, a prayer list and an Islamic State flag.
Al Hadran also reportedly explicitly expressed his desire to join Islamic State fighters in Syria, as well as his wish to become a martyr for their cause in online messaging captured by FBI agents.
“I want to blow myself up,” he posted on one of his social media accounts. “I want to travel with the Mujahidin. I want to travel to be with those who are against America. I am against America.”
And his comments didn’t stop there:
“I will make a widow of you,” he allegedly told his 18-year-old wife in a call picked up by federal agents. “You will get a phone call with news of my death.”
The Al Hadran case is said to be one of three recent cases in the Houston area of Islamic State sympathizers:
Last week, authorities said they arrested 18-year-old Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya, charging him with supplying information on how to make explosives.
Another man, 23-year-old Asher Abid Khan of Spring, pleaded guilty to trying to join Islamic State fighters in Syria earlier this year.
These are developing stories.