Government shutdown blamed in part for sentencing delay for Ladson man who tried to join ISIS

VIDEO: Government shutdown blamed in part for sentencing delay for Ladson man who tried to join ISIS

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Sentencing for a Ladson man who pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to provide support to a terrorist organization has been delayed, partially because of the ongoing government shutdown.

Zakaryia Abdin, 20, was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, according to court documents. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison after he entered a guilty plea in August.

A court order states Abdin moved for a delay to allow "adequate time to pursue discovery from the government related to the sentencing, which has been slowed by the need for a national security review and the government shutdown."

The order states prosecutors consented to Abdin's motion and ordered the scheduled hearing canceled. It also orders both sides to file status reports every 30 days until the sentencing is rescheduled.

Abdin changed plea in federal courtroom in August

Abdin pleaded guilty on Aug. 8 in a federal courtroom, changing his previous plea of not guilty.

He was 18 when he was arrested in March 2017 at the Charleston International Airport by special agents of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force before he boarded an outbound flight.

Abdin is accused of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, a designated foreign terrorist organization, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick said. The charge is based on Abdin’s alleged attempt to travel overseas to join the terrorist organization, he said.

An affidavit unsealed Tuesday alleges Abdin sought help online from a person he thought was affiliated with ISIS, but was really an undercover FBI agent. Abdin told the agent he had pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014 and wanted help joining.

The 18-year-old told the agent he was “very close” to doing something similar to the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting and was willing to commit an attack on U.S. soil if needed.

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