Washington-A 22-year-old American, who has converted to Islam, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for seeking to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
Nicholas Teausant had pleaded guilty in December to a charge of attempting to provide material support or resources to a terror group.
He was arrested in March 2014 near the Canadian border, while en route to Syria to join the terror network.
U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez said as he issued his verdict in Sacramento, California, that terrorism had become a zero-tolerance crime.
“There is no margin for error,” Mendez said.
According to authorities, Teausant caught the attention of the FBI in 2013 after he joined online forums, expressing a desire to “conduct violent jihad and to be part of America’s downfall.”
In his subsequent dealings with an FBI informant, he spoke of a plot to attack the Los Angeles subway but later backed away from those plans.
Teausant’s lawyer said, however, that he had a mental illness and was not a real threat.
The attorney argued in court documents that the man “couldn’t provide material support to a pup tent.”
John P. Carlin, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, told the Washington Post last year that 60 Americans had in 2015 stood trial over terror accusations.
The majority of them had ties to ISIS, he said.
He said the authorities noticed one common thing among suspects – their connection to social media websites.
This wasn’t the case when the U.S. authorities used to investigate al-Qaeda suspects in the past, the official said.
The administration’s success will be defined in its strategic ability to confront ISIS so that it is not able to reach young men in the U.S., Carlin added.