DETROIT – A Detroit-area man who works at his father’s pizzeria, repeatedly apologized Monday for making provocative threats in support of the Islamic State, the group, and insisted he meant no harm to anyone.
Khalil Abu Rayyan, 22, do not commit terrorism, but federal prosecutors ask for a severe sentence — eight years in prison for a gun crime and making false statements to obtain a firearm in 2015. They refer to his online messages with an undercover FBI operative as evidence that a long sentence is necessary to protect the public.
“I am so ashamed. I got myself humiliated,” Rayyan told a judge.
Rayyan sent pictures of a beheading to his brother, watched “shock and awe” terror videos, and said, that he was willing to attack a church and a police officer in a hospital.
“He lacks self-control,” Assistant district Attorney of the V. S. Ronald Waterstreet said.
U. S. District Judge George Caram Steeh said that he needed more time before sentencing Rayyan. He is considering two representations of Rayyan: he Is a dangerous young man, or just stupid and insecure?
“That behavior is not who I am or what I believe. … ISIS has nothing to do with Islam,” Rayyan said in the court in a loud, powerful voice. “I am ashamed of my faith. I came to the Muslim people.”
Attorney Todd Shanker asked for Rayyan to receive 15 months in prison, which would probably mean that there will be no extra time behind bars because he get credit for time in custody since his arrest in 2016.
“They are awful representations,” Shanker said of Rayyan the last words, “but they are false statements.”
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