An Indian American Islamic State terror group supporter has been sentenced to five years in jail for lying in an attempt to join the US military.
Shivam Patel, who was raised a Hindu before converting to Islam, has been sentenced to five years in jail for passport fraud and making false statements in his application. He was also ordered to pay $4,000. The 28-year-old reportedly told an undercover FBI employee that he wanted to commit jihad.
Court documents revealed that Patel, who has a degree in criminal justice from Virginia State University, travelled to China in July 2016 to teach English. During his time there he grew displeased with how the country treated Muslims. Although his employer made arrangements for Patel to fly back to Virginia, the 28-year-old travelled to Jordan to do something “bigger, better and more powerful.” He also wanted to find like-minded Muslims.
However, Patel, who told taxi drivers in Jordan that he supported the Islamic State, was arrested a few days later for unspecified reasons.
After returning to the US, Patel applied to join the Army and Air Force, but he did not disclose his trips to either China or Jordan. Patel also applied for a new passport claiming that he had accidentally thrown his old passport away.
Patel was arrested in July 2017 after US special agents from the FBI recovered his original passport.