A Maryland man was charged by federal prosecutors on Monday after plotting to attack a U.S. military service member on behalf of the Islamic State.
Nelash Mohamed Das, a Bangladeshi citizen who immigrated to the U.S. two decades ago, met with an undercover FBI agent who was posing as an ISIS sympathizer earlier this year to plan an assault against a military member. Das believed the two would be paid $80,000 by an ISIS contact in Iraq, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Das, 24, and the FBI agent packed up guns on Friday and drove to the military member’s home in Maryland, located 20 miles outside of Washington, D.C. Das was arrested soon after, according to prosecutors.
He was charged on Monday with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and faces up to 20 years in prison.
"Individuals intent on carrying out violence in the name of foreign terrorist organizations pose one of the most concerning threats that law enforcement faces today, and stopping these offenders before they are able to act is our highest priority," John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.
Das became a legal permanent resident in the U.S. after arriving in 1995.
Prosecutors said he expressed his support for the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California on social media last year and tweeted a picture of an AK-47 calling it "a ticket to Jannah," the Islamic concept of paradise. He also tweeted the service member’s name and hometown, claiming the member "aspires to kill Muslims."
Reuters reported at the end of September that more than 70 people in the U.S. had been charged with attempting to travel abroad to join ISIS.