Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, 32, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn federal court. Al Farekh’s lawyer, David Ruhnke, said at the court hearing that Al Farekh would be appealing his conviction.
Before Cogan imposed the sentence, Ruhnke read a letter written by Al Farekh, who did not speak himself. Al Farekh did not directly address the crimes of which he was found guilty, but asked the judge to consider that young men could be misled into violence. Al Farekh said in the letter that he was now opposed to violence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Tucker urged the judge not to believe the letter, saying Al Farekh remained “unshakably committed to violent jihad” and was “willing to say anything.”
Cogan said the letter was “not an enthusiastic acceptance of responsibility.”
“I just can’t draw anything from that,” he said.