‘Mohamed Jalloh commented that it was better to plan an operation for the month of Ramadan’
Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, a former member of the Army National Guard, was arrested on July 3 for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). According to the complaint, Jalloh is alleged to have attempted to provide services by assisting in the procurement of weapons to be used in what he believed was going to be an attack on U.S. soil committed in the name of ISIL. In addition, the complaint alleges that Jalloh attempted to provide material support to ISIL by providing money to assist in the facilitation of individuals seeking to join ISIL.
According to court documents and court proceedings, in March 2016, a now-deceased member of ISIL brokered an introduction between Jalloh, 26, of Sterling, Virginia, and an individual in the United States who actually was an FBI confidential human source (CHS). The ISIL member was actively plotting an attack in the United States and believed the attack would be carried out with the assistance of Jalloh and the CHS.
According to court documents, Jalloh met with the CHS on two occasions in April and May 2016. During the April meeting, Jalloh told the CHS that he was a former member of the Army National Guard, but that he had decided to quit after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Aulaqi, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Jalloh stated that he recently had taken a six-month trip to Africa, where he had met with ISIL members in Nigeria and first began communicating online with the ISIL member who later brokered his introduction to the CHS.
During their meeting, Jalloh also told the CHS that he often thought about conducting an attack and that he knew how to shoot guns. Jalloh praised the gunman who killed five U.S. military members in a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July 2015, and stated that he had been thinking about conducting an attack similar to the November 2009 attack at Ft. Hood, Texas.
During the May 2016 meeting, Jalloh asked the CHS about the timeline for an operation and commented that it was better to plan an operation for the month of Ramadan. Jalloh also asked if the CHS could assist him in providing a donation to ISIL. Ultimately, Jalloh provided a prepaid cash transfer of $500 to a contact of the CHS that Jalloh believed was a member of ISIL, but who was in fact an undercover FBI employee.
In June 2016, Jalloh travelled to North Carolina and made multiple unsuccessful attempts to obtain firearms. On July 2, Jalloh went to a gun dealership in northern Virginia, where he purchased and test-fired a Stag Arms assault rifle. Unbeknownst to Jalloh, the rifle was rendered inoperable before he left the dealership with the weapon. Jalloh was arrested the following day and the FBI seized the rifle.
The criminal complaint charges Jalloh with attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIL, a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, Jalloh faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jalloh, a native of Sierra Leone, is a U.S. citizen. He was taken into custody by FBI special agents while driving outside his Sterling, Va., neighborhood on his way to work Sunday morning, according to the FBI. At his home Tuesday, a family member declined to comment. Neighbors said the family kept to themselves, and it was not clear where Jalloh worked.
Jalloh served as a specialist in the Virginia National Guard from April 2009 to April 2015. He was a combat engineer in the 276th Engineer Battalion, 91st Troop Command. The battalion deployed overseas during Jalloh’s tenure, but there are no records showing that he deployed with the battalion, said Virginia National Guard spokesman A.A. “Cotton” Puryear.
Update: The same Jihad terror suspect targeted Pamela Geller but the FBI never warned her.