Prosecutors say an ISIS supporter, who is scheduled to stand trial for killing four people in two states in 2014 in a protest against U.S. foreign policy, was on a federal terror watch list.
Ali Muhammad Brown had written in his journal that he had intended to follow ISIS and “learn the way of jihadis.”
Brown was sentenced on Jan. 20 to 36 years in prison for an armed robbery around the same time as the four killings. He will also face terrorism charges, reports The Associated Press.
Records show Brown admitted to killing the men because “all these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.”
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Brown views U.S. military intrusion in the Islamic world as an “evil” he must act against, according to prosecutors, reports Daily Mail.
Before Brown was sentenced for the armed robbery, assistant prosecutor Jamel Sempter gave the contents of Brown's journal to a judge in Essex County, New Jersey.
The prosecutor also said Brown was on a federal watch list, though he did not give details, reports AP.
Dave Joly, a spokesman for the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, said the agency does not openly confirm or deny whether an individual is included on its terror watch or no-fly lists, according to AP.
Brown, who has declined to take part in most of the court hearings, was surrounded in court by 10 sheriff's office deputies. He was taciturn, declined to sign any papers and once pulled an earplug out of his ear to hear the judge's question better, according to Daily Mail.
This will be the first time the New Jersey's anti-terrorism statute, enacted after the 9/11 attacks, will be implemented.