ALEXANDRIA, Va. — More than 100 people in the U.S. have been charged with trying to help the Islamic State, or trying to join it, but Mohamad Khweis stood out because he succeeded.
Khweis, 27, the only American citizen to be convicted in a U.S. jury trial of successfully joining the Islamic State overseas, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday.
Khweis, from Alexandria, Virginia, was convicted on terrorism charges earlier this year. Khweis traveled to Islamic State-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria in December 2015, even obtaining an official membership card. But he found life there distasteful and escaped after a few months. He surrendered in northern Iraq to Kurdish forces, who broadcast his capture around the world.