FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas man, Michael Kyle Sewell, was sentenced Monday to 20 years in federal prison for conspiring to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based foreign terrorist organization also known as LeT.
Sewell, 18, entered a guilty plea in federal court in May to conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Sewell admitted to trying to recruit another person to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group behind a 2008 attack in India’s financial capital of Mumbai that killed 166 people.
“Sewell conspired with another individual to provide material support to LeT and assisted his coconspirator with his plans to travel overseas to join the terrorist organization. Today’s sentence provides just punishment for his crime,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of National Security. “The National Security Division is committed to identifying and holding accountable those who conspire to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”
Prosecutors say Sewell put the person in contact with someone he thought would facilitate joining Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan but was, in fact, an undercover FBI agent.
“This case demonstrates how an American citizen can be radicalized by a violent ideology based upon hate and how the actions of the FBI and our partners on the Joint Terrorism Task Force worked tirelessly to prevent violence here, and abroad. We cannot thank them enough for what they do to protect our community,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “The 20 year sentence proves that justice in the Northern District of Texas can be swift and certain. We will work aggressively to counter terrorist threats and treat these cases with the highest priority.”
“Eighteen years after 9/11, combatting terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority. Here, the defendant, a natural born American citizen, helped recruit a fellow American to fight for a group responsible for unspeakable violence across South Asia,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “The FBI Dallas Field Office, and its partners who make up the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force, will work tirelessly to bring to justice those who offer their support to terrorist organizations, both at home and abroad.”