(Courtesy photo)

Oakland man sentenced to 15 years prison for aiding foreign terrorist organization

A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday sentenced a 23-year-old Oakland man to 15 years and eight months in prison for attempting
to aid a foreign terrorist organization — namely, the Islamic State — by setting up social media accounts.

Amer Alhaggagi pleaded guilty to the charge before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer last year.

The sentence imposed by Breyer also included two years for charges of identify theft and creation of a fraudulent credit card to which Alhaggagi also pleaded guilty.

Breyer said that he found the most disturbing aspect of the case to be Alhaggagi’s “total lack of empathy” for potential victims of never completed bombing plots he discussed with an undercover FBI agent in 2016.

Defense attorney Mary McNamara argued that Alhaggagi’s talk of bombing a nightclub and a student dormitory were just grandiose jokes. She said Alhaggagi was social immature and a “class clown.”

But Breyer said a joke about violence “is not a joke.”

“It is a very serious matter,” he said.

-Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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