By Caroline May
A naturalized U.S. citizen from Sierra Leone who is also a former member of the Army National Guard is the latest individual arrested for providing material support to ISIS and for attempting to purchase weapons for an attack on U.S. soil.
Mohamed Bailor Jalloh was arrested on July 3 after purchasing a firearm from a dealership in northern Virginia. Unbeknown to Jalloh, he was under FBI surveillance at time of the purchase and the weapon was disabled.
Prior to Jalloh’s arrest, according to the Justice Department, a now-deceased member of ISIS arranged a meeting in March between Jalloh and another individual in the U.S. who was a confidential human source (CHS) for the FBI. The ISIS member who arranged the meeting believed Jalloh and the CHS would help in carrying out an attack in the U.S.
Jalloh and the CHS met on two occasions in April and May during which time Jalloh explained that he quit the National Guard after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Aulaqi. He also revealed that he spent six months in Africa where he met with ISIS members in Nigeria and began conversations with the ISIS member who introduced him to the CHS.
Jalloh noted said that he had considered conducting an attack himself explaining that he “was close to doing so at one point.” He also praised the terrorist who murdered five U.S. military members in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the Ft. Hood terrorist.
“JALLOH claimed to know how to shoot guns, and that he had been thinking about conducting a Nidal Hassan (Hassan) – style attack,” the complaint reads. “When asked to explain what he meant, JALLOH said, “Nidal Hassan type of things. That’s the kind of stuff I started thinking you know.” Hassan is a former Major in the United States Army who killed 13 people and wounded 32 others in a terrorist attack on Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009.”
During their May meeting, Jalloh expressed his desire to conduct an attack during the month of Ramadan. He also sought the CHS’ assistance in sending $500 to assist ISIS, which ended up being sent to an FBI employee posing as an ISIS member.
In June, Jalloh attempted to purchase firearms in North Carolina, but failed. On July 2 he was able to purchase the disabled Stag Arms assault rifle from a northern Virginia gun dealer.
The criminal charges against Jalloh — attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS — carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.