WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Virginia man who traveled to Syria to become a suicide bomber for Islamic State was convicted on Wednesday of providing material support to the militant group, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.
Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 27, spent about 2-1/2 months in early 2016 traveling with Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq and participating in the group’s religious training, the statement said. He was detained by Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq in March 2016 and turned over to U.S. authorities.
The jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted Khweis of all three charges, which included providing and conspiring to provide support to Islamic State and a firearms count. He faces a sentence of five years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 13.
Khweis did not tell his family he was leaving to join Islamic State and used encrypted devices to conceal his activity from authorities, the department said. He traveled to Turkey in December 2015 and later crossed into Syria.
He agreed to be a suicide bomber when he joined the group, the department said. In February 2017, the U.S. military recovered his Islamic State intake form, along with a camp roster that included Khweis’ name with 19 other Islamic State fighters, the Justice Department said.
Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Cynthia Osterman