Virginia man caught in sting trying to join IS gets 8.5 years

In this undated image taken from video posted online by Communications Arm of Islamic State, circulating online Sunday Jan. 3, 2016, purporting to show a member of the Islamic State group brandishing a gun and talking to camera, before Islamic State group members seem to execute five men they accuse of spying for Britain in Syria. The video could not be independently verified, but the footage bears the markings of IS media wing. (Militant Video via AP) TV OUT

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – A northern Virginia man caught in a government sting trying to join the Islamic State group has been sentenced to 8 ½ years.

Twenty-nine-year-old Joseph Farrokh of Woodbridge was sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandria. He is one of about a half-dozen men from the region arrested this year on terror-related charges arising from government sting operations.

In Farrokh’s case, he pleaded guilty to trying to travel to the Islamic State to join fighters there. He was arrested in January at the Richmond airport.

At Friday’s hearing, Farrokh apologized and denounced the Islamic State group. Court papers spell out in detail how the Pennsylvania native quickly became radicalized.

Prosecutors sought at least 16 years in prison while the defense asked for a five-year term.

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