DEARBORN – A Dearborn man has been sentenced to five years in prison for lying to federal agents about plans to join Hezbollah in Syria.
Mohammad Hamdan, 24, has been in custody for nearly three years and will get credit for that time.
He was sentenced Wednesday, about four months after pleading guilty to making false statements to agents.
He pled guilty to lying to a federal agent in August, in a legal agreement between the prosecution and the defense.
The charge of attempted material support to Terrorism was dropped.
The FBI said Hamdan wanted to join Hezbollah, classified by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, after he told an FBI informant of such plants.
He was arrested in 2014 prior to boarding a flight at Detroit Metro Airport.
Both Hamdan and his family had claimed that he never intended to join Hezbollah–pointing the finger on the Arab American informant who they claim set him up.
Hamdan was a permanent U.S. resident. He will be deported to Lebanon after he completes his sentence.
He was described as a non-religious, pot smoking young adult who also had health issues.
In the months prior to his arrest, his family claimed he also suffered from depression after he broke up with a girlfriend.
Hamdan and his family claimed his dysfunctional lung would’ve never qualified him to fight with Hezbollah. Hamdan also had a dog.
The family continues to allege that the FBI informant who was routinely communicating with Hamdan was doing it as an incentive to clear his own immigration status.
During his sentencing, Hamdan clarified that he never had any contact with Hezbollah and would not be able to fight in a war.
Judge Gerald Rosen called Hamdan a “troubled young man who was heading quickly in the wrong direction.”
Rosen stressed that the sentence was fair, and that Hamdan may have received more prison time had the prosecution not agreed to the plea deal.
Hamdan’s case exploits questionable tactics by the FBI, where they routinely use informants to target vulnerable young men and entrap them into terrorism charges.
The FBI said the informant recorded conversations with Hamdan during which he said he was going to Lebanon to help Hezbollah, and that he intended to become an active member.
On the recorded calls, Hamdan also allegedly said he’d been involved with Hezbollah before he immigrated to the U.S., and that he had received military training from the group.
Interesting how the Arab American news writes that he drank and owned a dog – haram in Islam – suggesting either he’s not a real Muslim or doing those things precludes him from joining an Islamic terror group.
As we noted in a previous post, Hamdan was born in Lebanon. He came to the U.S. in June of 2007.