Texas man pleads guilty to recruiting for Pakistan-based terrorist organization
FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas man is facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to using social media to recruit for a Pakistani-based foreign terrorist group.
Michael Kyle Sewell, 18, of Arlington, who was arrested in February, pleaded guilty Wednesday to providing contact information for someone he believed could help another person travel to Pakistan to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group believed to be a terrorist organization also known as LeT, a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Sewell admitted to encouraging a person on social media, identified in court documents only as “co-conspirator 1,” to join LeT, the release said.
What Sewell and “co-conspirator 1” did not know was that the person offering to help them was an undercover FBI agent, according to the release.
Sewell and the potential recruit discussed what should be said to the undercover FBI agent who posed as the person wanting to help, in order to gain that person’s trust so the recruit would be permitted to join LeT.
Sewell also contacted the undercover FBI agent to vouch for the potential recruit’s authenticity.
Sewell could face the maximum 20-year sentence in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000. Sewell is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 12 in Fort Worth.
The FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force members, including the Arlington Police Department, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation, the release said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer prosecuted the case with the assistance of Bridget Behling, an attorney with the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, the release said.
This article is written by By Mitch Mitchell from Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.