Mufid Elfgeeh, 32, of Rochester, who pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), was sentenced Thursday to 22 1/2 years in prison and 27 years supervised release by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.
From December 2013 through May 31, 2014, Elfgeeh recruited and attempted to send two individuals – both of whom were cooperating with the FBI at the time – to Syria to join and fight on behalf of ISIL, according to the office of U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.
Elfgeeh sent ISIL propaganda videos to one of the recruits and arranged for an English-speaking ISIL contact in Iraq to communicate with the recruit over Facebook. Elfgeeh paid more than $240 for that individual to get a copy of his birth certificate, passport photographs and an expedited passport.
Elfgeeh also purchased a laptop computer and a high-definition action camera for both men to take to Syria. Elfgeeh also provided guidance to them about traveling so that they could avoid detection and be prepared for the ISIL vetting process. In May 2014, Elfgeeh arranged for an overseas contact to coordinate the trip and the admission of both men into ISIL-controlled territory in Syria.
Elfgeeh also sent $600 to a third person in Yemen to assist them in traveling from Yemen to Syria to join ISIL.
In March 2014, Elfgeeh communicated with the alleged military commander of the Green Battalion of the United Rebels of Homs-Al-Murabitun, a group of fighters located in Homs, Syria. At the time, the battalion was blockaded in Homs and needed military support, including ammunition, mortar shells and explosives that could penetrate armored vehicles, to break out. Elfgeeh facilitated communication and coordination between the battalion commander and ISIL leadership.
Elfgeeh also used social media to receive and disseminate information about foreign terrorist groups and their activities in Syria and other countries, to declare his support for violent jihad, ISIL and other foreign terrorist groups, to encourage others to engage in violent jihad, and to seek financial contributions to assist jihadist fighters.