Northern Virginia Man Sentenced for Trying to Help ISIS

Haris Qamar worked with an undercover informant to film a photograph landmarks in the DC region

What to Know

  • Haris Qamar, 26, of Burke, was arrested in July. He promoted the Islamic State on Twitter.
  • He will serve 8 1/2 years in prison and then another 20 years on supervised release.

A Northern Virginia man was sentenced Friday to 8 1/2 years in prison -- and another 20 years of supervision -- for trying to help ISIS.

Haris Qamar, 26, of Burke, was arrested in July. He admitted in federal court in Alexandria in October that he used the handle "newerajihadi" on Twitter to promote the Islamic State.

Prosecutors say Qamar worked with a government informant to film and photograph landmarks in the D.C. region, including the Pentagon, for use in propaganda videos to encourage lone-wolf attacks.

He also told the informant that he found the "extreme violence" associated with ISIS to be exciting, and that he "loved the bodies, blood, and beheadings," according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Dana Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia.

"Qamar said he recalled watching a video of a Kurdish individual being slaughtered, and he liked the cracking sound made when the individual’s spinal cord was torn," the press release said.

On Wednesday, Soufian Amri, 32, of Falls Church, and Michael Queen, 28, of Woodbridge -- both acquaintances of Qamar -- were arrested and charged with obstructing justice and conspiring to provide material false statements to the officers who were investigating Qamar.

In July, Qamar's parents told News4's Julie Carey they were deeply upset and disappointed their son wasted his education and turned to ISIS.

Qamar told an undercover FBI informant that he bought a plane ticket to Turkey but his parents prevented him from leaving. The informant reportedly asked Qamar if he would join ISIS if his father gave him his passport. If that happened, "I'm done, I leave," Qamar said, according to federal prosecutors.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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