Jordanian Gets 15 Years for Trying to Join ISIS
USWeb Staff

CINCINNATI—A Jordanian citizen who was living in Ohio has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempting to join the ISIS.

U.S. District Judge Walter Rice also sentenced Laith Waleed Alebbini to 25 years of probation Thursday, but the 28-year-old Alebbini likely will be deported after his prison term.

Alebbini was arrested at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2017. Prosecutors say he was trying to fly to Turkey or Jordan before joining with ISIS fighters in Syria. He was charged with conspiring and attempting to provide support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Federal authorities said Alebbini wanted to become a suicide bomber.

The Dayton Daily News reports Alebbini told the judge he has always been against terrorism and he never “thought of harming the American people.”

ISIS Bride Wanted to Return to America

In a similar story, Hoda Muthana, who lived in Alabama before traveling to Syria to join the ISIS terrorist group, fled the United States in 2014 when she was a college student at the University of Birmingham. She married three ISIS fighters and at least two of them died in battle.

Muthana, 24, who wants to return to the United States with her 18-month-old son, is now in a “precarious position” in a refugee camp in Syria after ISIS was decimated there by the United States and American allies.

She says that she made a mistake and is asking to be allowed to re-enter the United States.

Hoda Muthana
Hoda Muthana, now 24, in a 2012 yearbook picture. (Hoover High School)

Among her statements issued while she was in the Middle East was an exhortation for Muslims in the United States to carry out terror attacks.

“Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parade,” she said in one infamous post published on Twitter in 2015. Another post featured a picture of four passports with the caption: “Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore,” she wrote.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials have spoken strongly about Muthana, with Pompeo telling reporters on March 4: “She’s a terrorist.”

“This is a woman who went online and tried to kill young men and women of the United States of America. She advocated for jihad, for people to drive vans across streets here in the United States and kill Americans. She’s not a U.S. citizen. She has no claim of U.S. citizenship. In fact, she’s a terrorist, and we shouldn’t bring back foreign terrorists to the United States of America. It’s not the right thing to do,” he said.

“President Trump is determined that she will not come back. And we don’t need that kind of risk, and we don’t need people like her who threatened the lives of Americans and Iowans coming back to the United States who aren’t citizens.”

Trump took to Twitter on Feb. 20 to announce that he instructed Pompeo not to let Muthana back into the United States.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is among those advocating for Muthana to return and face a trial.

“No one is going to welcome this person back to the United States—that’s just a mischaracterization,” he said on Sunday morning on CBS.

“I do think we ought to consider bringing her back to face justice,” Jones added. “We do it all the time with terrorists, with other people that commit crimes against the United States. I think it sends kind of a bad message if we give someone a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card just because they go to the Middle East.”

Others, though agree with the Trump administration, including John Lyda, a member of the City Council in Muthana’s former city, Hoover.

“She’s certainly not welcome back in the @CityofHoover as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “The fact that she wants to come back to America and face justice here really tells us all we need to know. Let her remain where she is.”

The Associated Press and NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.