06:40 GMT +324 February 2019
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    Shivam Patel, 28, tried to join the U.S. Army and Air Force, and lied to recruiters about a trip to Jordan in a failed attempt to contact the Islamic State

    Man Accused of Trying to Infiltrate US Army to Commit Terrorism Pleads Guilty

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    A man who allegedly expressed sympathy for terrorist groups is accused of having travelled to China and Jordan and hiding evidence of his movements in order to join the US Armed Forces.

    A 28-year-old man from the US state of Virginia on February 8 entered a guilty plea in response to charges of lying on a US military application as well as passport fraud.​ The accused had reportedly confided his desires to undertake acts of terrorism to under-cover law-enforcement agents monitoring his activities.

    Shivam Patel, a Muslim convert from Hinduism was arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in July of 2017 after it was discovered that he deliberately failed to include records of previous trips to China and Jordan in his application to join the US Army and the Airforce.

    According to a court affidavit, Mr. Patel became radicalized while teaching English in China in 2016, becoming increasingly outraged by the Chinese government's treatment of the largely Muslim Uyghur population in the far western region of Xinjiang.  

    He reportedly communicated his feelings to his father and had allegedly searched online for ways of joining Daesh terrorist group (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS, outlawed in Russia), travelling to Jordan from the US after being sent home by his former employer.

    Upon arriving in Jordan, Mr. Patel was arrested and deported back to the United States by the Jordanian authorities.

    In the US, the usual penalty for lying on a military application is imprisonment for fifteen years.

    In his defense, Mr. Patel had claimed he had mistakenly thrown his passport, along with evidence of his travels, away which required him to apply for a new one.

    He is expected to learn his fate at a sentencing hearing on June 4 2018.


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    war in Syria, Terrorism, guilty plea, conviction, Daesh, US Armed Forces, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Virginia, China, United States, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Jordan
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