Bronx man sentenced to 22 years in prison for supporting Islamic State

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Police say a Bronx man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempting to provide materials to support the Islamic State in 2016.

Sajmir Alimehmeti, known as Abdul Qawii, was originally arrested after attempting to help a man he believed was traveling from New York to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.

The man was revealed to be an undercover officer. Alimehmeti was flagged back in October of 2015 when he attempted to apply for another U.S. passport, saying he lost his prior passport.

He later told the undercover officer that he was really applying because he felt the rejection stamps in his passport from the United Kingdom would make it hard to travel to Islamic State territory.

When Alimehmeti's apartment was searched by officers after his arrest, they found an Islamic State flag along with knives and other propaganda.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said in a statement in part, "Sajmir Alimehmeti betrayed the country he called home by trying to travel overseas to join ISIS, a brutal terrorist group at war with the United States… the investigation revealed he was acquiring tactical knives, handcuffs and equipment indicative of efforts to prepare for an attack here in New York City. "

Police say he also worked within prison to spread terrorist propaganda. Once he is released, he will have five years of supervised release.

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