Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, left, is escorted by U. S. Marshals of the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Houston.
An Iraqi refugee who investigators say wanted to set off bombs at two Houston malls was sentenced Monday to 16 years in prison for trying to help the Islamic State terror network.
Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan was sentenced in Houston federal court. He pleaded guilty in October 2016 to an attempt to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
At the time of his speech, Al Hardan admitted to providing material support, specifically himself, with ISIS.
An FBI agent testified in January 2016 that Al-Hardan told an FBI informant he wanted to plant bombs at two Houston malls and blow them away with mobile phones.
“Any person who provides material support to a foreign terrorist organization will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Acting Prosecutor of the V. S. Abe Martinez said in a statement. “Al-Hardan, the actions were treacherous and completely antithetical to the freedoms that we, as citizens of the USA value. The sentence imposed today reflects the Ministry of Justice is to resolve to find and punish all violators who would give aid and comfort to international terrorists.”
The 25-year-old came to Houston from Iraq in 2009. He was arrested in January 2016. Prior to entering the U.S., All Cure was in two refugee camps in Jordan and Iraq. After he was admitted to the country under the status of refugee, he was granted lawful permanent residence in 2011.
The authorities say that Al Hardan was the learning of how to create a digital channels that can be used to detonate explosives. The researchers discovered training Cd’s on how to build remote detonators, circuits, various tools, several inactivated mobile phones and a prayer list for committing jihad, as well as the black standard flag used by ISIS.
Plaintiff alleged Al Hardan was the coordination with other Iraqi refugees in California. She said that the two men were talking about getting weapons, training and eventually goes to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State.
U. S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, who accepted the guilty plea, gave Al Hardan a 192-month sentence. He will also be on supervised release for the rest of his life.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.