Missouri man who embraced Islam sentenced in planned terrorism attack plot

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Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr, 28, of Missouri, was sentenced Wednesday to 19 years in prison and lifetime of probation for providing material support or resources to terrorists

A 28-year-old man who went by the names Mohammed Junaid Al Amreeki, Junaid Muhammad, Rabbani Junaid Muhammad, Rami Talib and Ali Talib Muhammad was sentenced on March 4 to 19 years in prison and lifelong probation, accused of trying to help ISIS operatives attack sites in Kansas City, Mo.

Problem was, the ISIS agents were actually U.S. federal agents. Also, his supplying of things like nails and duct tape fell pitifully short of his stated ambitions to attack things like “oil production” and “military bases.”

Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., 28, a U.S. Army veteran, pleaded guilty last September to providing material support or resources to terrorists, according to Mailonline. He was accused of giving materials like nails and duct tape to the undercover agents, thinking he was dealing with ISIS. One of the undercover agents told Hester that attacks were planned on buses, trains and a train station on President’s Day in Kansas City. 

Hester, who was married with two young daughters, came to the attention of the FBI in 2016 after posting comments on Facebook supporting radical Islamic ideology and expressing hatred toward the U.S., according to federal prosecutors.

“Hester indicated that he had converted to Islam, expressed animus toward the United States, and posted photos of weapons and the ISIS flag, among other material, suggesting an adherence to radical Islamic ideology and a propensity for violence,” reads a press release from the Department of Justice. 

In order to determine whether Hester posed a security threat, FBI agents using undercover identities reached out to Hester via social media, texting and face-to-face meetings.

During those encounters, Hester identified categories of potential targets for attack, including “oil production,” “military bases,” “federal places,” “government officials,” and “Wall Street.”

He also was quoted as saying he wanted to unleash a ‘global jihad’ and carry out ‘global jihad’ and an attack ’10 times’ as deadly as the Boston Marathon bombings.

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