Reduced Sentencing for American Muslim Who Tried to Flee U.S. to Join ISIS


Chicago resident and American Muslim Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 21, attempted to fly overseas to join the Islamic State terrorism group before he was caught by authorities. Originally sentenced 15 years for his crime, Khan’s sentencing has now been reduced to a little more than three years by U.S. District Judge John Tharp. The judge’s intention was for Khan to pay close attention to the way he’d just been treated under U.S. law.

Tharp essentially granted Khan a second chance after testifying in court and being given the right to counsel. Family and friends were permitted to assist him in court, and federal authorities agreed to provide special resources go get Khan’s life back on track. Tharp in his sentencing touched upon how Islamic State justice would treat him way more harshly.

“Instead of a public beheading, you’ve been given a public trial proceeding,” Tharp said at the conclusion of a two-hour hearing. “The enemy government has not tried to kill you. It has tried to help you.”

Under certain provisions of the ultimate sentencing, the judge ordered Khan to remain under court supervision for at least 20 years after his timely release. This is actually one of the longest periods of government monitoring ever ordered in Chicago’s federal court. In addition, Khan must seek “psychological and violent extremism counseling” and perform at least 120 hours of community service for each year of the sentencing.

Despite the judge’s leniency and forgiving sentencing, Khan showed no emotional reaction of gratitude for the relaxed decision of 40 months in prison.

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