U.S. prosecutors just spoke out on Monday to reveal that a Maryland man who pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to provide material support to the ISIS planned to carry out an attack in the U.S.
Fox News reported that though Mohamed Elshinawy is not scheduled to be sentenced until March 9, prosecutors are trying to convince a judge to apply a federal terrorism enhancement to ensure a longer jail term. Elshinawy’s plea deal states that he pledged allegiance to ISIS and received $8,700 from people he believed were linked to the terror network.
Prosecutors explained that Elshinawy was in contact with ISIS leaders who gave him a choice between two plots. One of the plots involved assassinating “a Texas businessman,” while the other detonating a bomb that would “kill a lot of people.” Elshinawy ended up choosing the second option, and he then received videos from ISIS that included instructions on how to build a peroxide bomb.
In addition, prosecutors said Elshinawy was researching federal buildings in Baltimore as possible targets. A judge is expected to rule this week on whether a terrorism enhancement will be applied, and Elshinawy is facing up to 20 years in prison for his crimes.
This comes after Fox News reported that a top U.S. military official just confirmed that the military defeat of ISIS could be just “weeks” away. U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel said this while speaking at Jordan’s National Defense School last week.
“The timeline for the military defeat of ISIS can now be measured in weeks,” Votel said, going on to warn that there is still “very tough fighting” going on in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.
It had preciously been reported that the terrorist group has lost 98 percent of the land it once held — with half of ISIS’ so-called “caliphate” having been recaptured since President Trump took office. These gains are what led to Votel’s assessment came after changes in the rules of engagement, instituted over the last year.
“The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence. “The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian casualties.”
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