Man accused of trying to help militants to stay in prison

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who the government sought to prosecute as an example to others considering joining Muslim militant fighters in Syria will stay in federal prison for two more years.

News outlets report a federal judge on Thursday sentenced Basit Sheikh to the maximum under a guilty plea agreement he struck with prosecutors in August. Sheikh has spent five years in federal custody since his 2013 arrest at Raleigh’s airport on his way to the Middle East.

The Cary man pleaded guilty to providing material support to a terrorist group for planning to join al-Qaida-linked fighters.

Sheikh was among the first Americans arrested as part of FBI effort to find eager fighters before they could join terrorist groups in Syria and perhaps later return home full of anti-American ideology.

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