An 18-year-old Tucson-area man accused of planning jihad-style attacks in Maricopa and Pima counties has pleaded guilty to three felonies and faces up to 14 years in prison, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.
In a deal made with prosecutors on Friday, Mahin Atif Khan pleaded guilty to inciting or inducing terrorism, financing or managing terrorism, and to manufacturing, possessing or selling a prohibited weapon, court records show.
Khan’s sentencing hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 4 in Maricopa County Superior Court.
His was the first conspiracy to commit terrorism case to be prosecuted by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, according to Mia Garcia, an office spokeswoman.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich is working with the FBI to take a proactive approach to arrest and prosecute anyone plotting or planning a terrorist attack in our community, Garcia said.
Khan will be sentenced to the Arizona Department of Corrections for no less than five years, and no more than 10.25 years, for the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism, court documents said. The crime of conspiracy to commit weapons misconduct carries a sentence of no less than two years in prison, the documents showed, and the two prison terms will run consecutively.
In regards to the terrorism crime, Khan agreed to be on supervised probation after his release from prison and will be prohibited from traveling outside of Maricopa or Pima counties, court documents showed. He will be required to hand over his passport to authorities.
Khan has been held without bond since his arrest July 1 after an elaborate investigation that included round-the-clock surveillance, undercover agents and communications on a “burner,” or disposable, phone.
At a hearing in July, FBI agent Benjamin Trentlage testified about how Khan unknowingly communicated with FBI agents over the course of several months, during which he detailed what he envisioned to be a “lone jihad attack.”
At various points, Khan said he was eyeing a Jewish community center and an Air Force recruitment center in Tucson for attacks, as well as the state Motor Vehicle Division office in Mesa, Trentlage said.