A Minnesota man, who had requested during sentencing to be set free, instead was sentenced to three years and two months in prison for having contact with international terror recruiters.
Abdul Raheem Ali-Skelton, 23, of Glencoe, had pleaded guilty in April in U.S. District Court in St. Paul to making false statements to the FBI. Once released, Ali-Skelton will be on supervised release for three years.
Ali-Skelton communicated online in 2014 and 2015 with Reyaad Khan and Junaid Hussain, his attorney said in a court filing late last month. Ali-Skelton resisted the solicitations of the ISIL recruiters but “panicked” when confronted by the FBI and lied about the extent of his contacts, the attorney said.
Attorney Robert Richman urged that his client be sentenced only to the time already served, contending that Ali-Skelton did not commit an act of terror or try to cover one up. “Abdul Ali-Skelton is not a terrorist,” Richman’s filing said.
The attorney also proposed that Ali-Skelton’s sentence include three months in a halfway house, psychological counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation.
Ali-Skelton has been in jail since his March arrest in Brooklyn Park on a separate charge: threatening to blow up a Twin Cities Walgreens after a domestic dispute. He pleaded guilty in August in that case.
Ali-Skelton was born William Sebastian Skelton in Iowa and changed his name after he converted to Islam at age 17, Richman said.